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About the Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness

Mission and Purpose

Global in scope, the Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness (BIHW) is part of The Coca-Cola Company’s ongoing commitment to use evidence-based science to advance knowledge and understanding of beverages, beverage ingredients, and the important role that active healthy lifestyles play in supporting health and wellbeing. It serves as a resource for health professionals, teachers, coaches and other professionals worldwide.

The BIHW website,, is a curator of evidence-based information and educational materials on the science, safety and benefits of beverages and their ingredients, energy balance, nutrition, physical activity, and related topics sourced from government agencies, food safety authorities, health professionals and their societies, and other credible sources.

The BIHW also supports the educational needs of health professionals by sponsoring free continuing professional education (CE/CPE) programs led by recognized experts in fields such as nutrition, medicine, nursing, physical activity, behavior change, toxicology and various food science disciplines.  All BIHW-sponsored CE/CPE programs meet the professional education standards of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).  In addition, the BIHW regularly partners with credible third-party organizations and groups on programs that provide continuing education credit for physicians, nurses and other health professionals.  The BIHW website maintains an archive of these programs to enable more health professionals to benefit from these educational opportunities.


Rhona Applebaum, PhD, Vice President and Chief Science & Health Officer for The Coca-Cola Company, is the Executive Director of the Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness.  Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company as Vice President and Chief Scientific & Regulatory Officer in 2004, Dr. Applebaum was Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer for the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), where she was responsible for the overall direction of NFPA’s three laboratory centers, the Office of Food Safety Programs and NFPA’s Research Foundation. Dr. Applebaum holds a Bachelor’s degree in history and biology from Wilson College, a Master’s degree in nutrition and food science from Drexel University, and a PhD in food microbiology and food safety from the University of Wisconsin.

Editorial and Contact Information

Joan Koelemay, RD, is the editor for the Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness (BIHW) website, A registered dietitian (RD), Ms. Koelemay holds a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business.  Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company, Ms. Koelemay led communications for the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Houston and was an instructor in the department of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.  She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The BIHW’s main office is located in Atlanta, Georgia.  To contact the BIHW, click here to access our “Contact” form.

Transparency Statement

The Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness (BIHW) website content and publications are based on peer-reviewed science and will not promote views that cannot be supported by the scientific community at large. Information includes references and links to scientific texts or experts.

The BIHW strives to develop health professional continuing education programs and content in partnership with recognized experts or organizations acknowledged for their credibility in their field of activity.

All BIHW activities support the Institute’s mission as a credible and scientifically-sound information source.

The BIHW is mindful of the need to address a balanced mix of subjects that enhance the BIHW’s impact, credibility and effectiveness.

The BIHW does not promote products or brands, or any information not based on peer-reviewed science.

The BIHW is fully supported by The Coca-Cola Company. It does not host or receive financial benefit or funding from link/banner exchanges, advertising, or from the display of commercial content.

The information on the BIHW website is not meant to replace the advice of a health care professional. If you have specific health concerns, please consult your health care professional.

The BIHW website complies with The Coca-Cola Company’s Privacy Policy. In addition, the BIHW website and its mirrors respect the legal requirements, including those concerning medical and personal information privacy, that apply in the country and state of their location.

 To view a list of definitions for acronyms used on the BIHW website, click here.

Awards and Recognition

The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness (BIHW) has received several awards for its work on the Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness website, including the 2013 eHealthcare Leadership Awards’ Best Overall Internet Site Silver award for Physician/Clinician-focused sites,  a 2013 Outstanding Achievement in Website Development award from Interactive Media Awards™, and a Silver in the Winter/Spring 2013 Web Health Awards competition.  Learn more.