Here’s something you don’t expect. Coca-Cola is being sued by a group of nonprofit public interests on the basis that the company’s water-based vitamin products provide unwarranted health claims. No surprise there. But how do you think the company defends itself?
In a staggering act of distorted logic, Coca-Cola’s lawyers defend the claim by claiming that “no consumer can reasonably be misled into believing that vitamin water is a healthy drink.”
Does that mean you have to be an unreasonable person to think that a product called “Vitamin”, a product that was aggressively and aggressively marketed as a healthy drink, actually had health benefits?
Or does it mean that it is acceptable for a company to lie to its products, as long as it can turn around and claim that no one really believes in its lies?
In fact, the product is essentially sugar water, with the addition of a penny of artificial vitamins. And the amount of sugar is not trivial. A vitamin bottle contains 33 grams of sugar, which brings it closer to a light drink compared to healthy beverages.
Has this marketing plan been damaged? After all, some will say that consumers get at least some vitamins, and there is no amount of sugar in vitamin water like regular Coca-Cola.
This is true. But today, about 35 percent of Americans are considered obese. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight. Health experts tend to disagree with just about everything, but everyone agrees that added sugars play a major role in the obesity epidemic, a problem that now leads to more medical costs than smoking.
How many people with weight problems have consumed products such as vitamin water in the wrong perception that the product is nutritionally positive and has no caloric consequences? How many people believed that consuming vitamin water is a smart choice from the perspective of weight loss? The name “Vitamin Water” itself implies that the product is simply water containing additional nutrients, camouflaged by the fact that it is already full of sugar.
The truth that when it comes to weight loss, what you drink may be more important than what you eat. Americans currently get about 25 percent of their calories from fluid. In 2009, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers published a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, finding that the fastest and most reliable way to lose weight is to reduce fluid calorie intake. The best way to do this is to reduce or remove sugar added drinks.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has invested billions of dollars in the vitamin water line, which has made basketball stars, including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, appear in ads that definitively confirm that these products are a healthy way for moisturizing consumers. As LeBron James went on to broadcast his own television to announce his decision to join the Miami Heat, many companies paid millions in an effort to earn the event. But it is the vitamin water that played the most prominent role during the show.
The lawsuit, filed by the Science Center in the public interest, claims that posters and vitamin water ads are full of “misleading and unproven claims.” In his latest 55-page verdict, Federal Judge John Gleason (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York) wrote, “In oral arguments, defendants (Coca-Cola) have suggested that the consumer cannot reasonably mislead to contemplate vitamin water. It was a healthy beverage, noting that the liquor giant did not claim that the claim was wrong for real reasons, the judge wrote that “accordingly, I must accept the factual allegations in the complaint that they are valid.”
I still can’t overcome the quirkiness of the Coca-Cola legal case. They are forced to defend themselves in court, and they admit that vitamin water is not a health product. But they claim that this way of declaring is not false, because this absurd claim cannot be believed.
I think that’s why they spend hundreds of millions of dollars advertising the product, saying it will keep you “in good health like a horse,” and lead to “a state of physical and mental health.”
Why do we let companies like Coca-Cola tell us that drinking a bottle of sugar with some water-soluble vitamins is a legitimate way to meet our nutritional needs?
Here’s what I suggest: If you’re looking for a healthier and much cheaper way to hydrate, try drinking water. If you want the flavor of water you drink, try adding lemon juice and a small amount of honey or maple syrup to a quarter of the water. Another alternative is to mix a serving of lemon juice or fruit juice with three or four portions of water. Or drink hot or cold green tea, add lemon and a small amount of sweetener if you like. If you like jazz, try half fruit juice and half sparkling water.