Saturday, January 17, 2009

Coke's "healthy" vitamin water claim

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has challenged Coca-Cola Co for marketing Vitaminwater as a

"healthful alternative to soda by labeling its several flavors with such health buzz words as 'defense', 'energy' and 'endurance'.

The company also claims the drinks reduce the risk of chronic disease and eye disease, promote healthy joints and support immune function, CSPI said.

In fact, according to CSPI nutritionists, the 33 grams of sugar in each bottle of Vitaminwater do more to promote obesity, diabetes and other health problems than the vitamins in the drinks do to perform the advertised benefits listed on the bottles."

This is an example of what Marion Nestle talks about in Food Politics where food companies are making health claims based on the addition of supplements to otherwise unhealthy food products. 

Note also how the Coca-Cola representative attempts to distract the audience from the real issue by attacking CSPI and questioning their motive:
Coke spokeswoman Diana Garza Ciarlante fired back, saying the suit was a way for the Washington, DC-based group to increase readership of its newsletter.

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