5 Health Claims From the New Coca-Cola Lawsuit

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5 of the Most Egregious Health Claims From the New Coca-Cola Lawsuit

Ryan F. Mandelbaum

A health advocacy group called The Praxis Project is suing The Coca-Cola Company and the American Beverage Association, the trade organization that represents the American non-alcoholic beverage industry. The nonprofit claims that Coke, with the help of the ABA, has “engaged in a pattern of deception to mislead and confuse the public,” and government agencies responsible for public health, “about the scientific consensus that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”

The Praxis Project wants to see Coke publicly release files about the sugary drink’s health implications, fund a campaign educating the public about the negative health consequences of their beverages, stop any deceptive advertising and “cease all advertising that reaches children under the age of 12 in significant numbers.”

This isn’t the first time Coke has come under fire for sugar—state legislators have attempt to tax soft drinks or limit their sales, for example. But this lawsuit cites dozens of dubious claims made by Coca-Cola or its representatives. Here are some of the craziest statements:

  1. There is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity.
  2. Sugary drinks contribute 2 percent of the calories of the British diet.
  3. “Consuming any form of sugar is not uniquely related to insulin resistance or diabetes.”
  4. Coca-Cola is a “sensible” snack for “any time of day”
  5. “The key to preventing weight gain is maintaining an active lifestyle and eating more calories.”

Lots of people say lots of different things on diets, including whether a calorie of sugar, a calorie of protein and a calorie of fat do the same thing. However, plenty of studies have shown that eating more food makes you weigh more.

I sent these statements to Coca-Cola, whose spokesperson responded with all these links and this statement.

This lawsuit is legally and factually meritless. We take our consumers and their health very seriously and have been on a journey to become a more credible and helpful partner in helping consumers manage their sugar consumption. To that end, we have led the industry adopting clear, front-of-pack calorie labeling for all our beverages. We are innovating to expand low- and no-calorie products; offering and promoting more drinks in smaller sizes; reformulating products to reduce added sugars; transparently disclosing our funding of health and well-being scientific research and partnerships; and do not advertise to children under 12. We will continue to listen and learn from the public health community and remain committed to playing a meaningful role in the fight against obesity.

It remains to be seen whether the ABA or their affiliates made these statements with ill intent. However, without a doubt, sugary drinks play a role in the type 2 diabetes and obesity epidemic.

Read full article and learn more about Deceptive Advertising here.

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