vitamins + water + sugar + hype = soda – bubbles
A consumer advocacy group has filed a class action lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Company for:
deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on its Vitamin Water line of beverages. Coke markets Vitamin Water as a healthful alternative to soda by labeling its several flavors with such health buzz words as “defense,” “rescue,” “energy,” and “endurance.” The company makes a wide range of dramatic claims, including that its drinks variously reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce the risk of eye disease, promote healthy joints, and support optimal immune function.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) further points out:
1. Sugar, suagr. The 33 grams of sugar in each 20 oz bottle of Vitamin Water cause more damage by promoting obesity, rather than good through their vitamin content.
2. Where’s the fruit? Although the different bottles have fruity names such as “endurance peach mango”, they actually contain less than 1% fruit juice.
3. False claims. The health statements on Vitamin Water labels are fraudulent and not in line with structure/function claims allowed by the FDA.
What you need to know:
Beverage manufacturers know that their consumers are shifting away from soda pop and looking for healthy alternatives. Selling expensive water can still generate healthy profits, they’ve learned. Especially if you add some nutrition. Vitamins are naturally bitter, and the 6 teaspoonfuls of sugar in each bottle help to mask the awful flavor. But all those empty calories, along with unsubstantiated health claims, create an artificial health halo.
This just goes to teach consumers, once again, not to trust a product’s health claims. Rather, be vigilant and check the product’s full nutrition label.
What to do at the supermarket:
CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson sums it up nicely, “My advice to consumers is to get your vitamins from real food.” To which we add, get your water from the tap, or buy bottles with nothing but H20. just don’t forget to recycle all those plastic bottles.
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