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Healthy Recipe Doctor

with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

Elaine Magee's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vitamin Water on the Hot Seat

Glaceau’s Vitamin Water (now owned by Coca-Cola) was on the list of beverage “sugar shockers” in a recent article I wrote for WebMD. I was just looking at potential products for the mere shock value over the amount of sugar a serving contains. I wasn’t looking for which products had confusing and perhaps erroneous health claims on their packaging. But CSPI was…

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, just served notice to Coca-Cola of a class action lawsuit filed over what CSPI says are deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on its VitaminWater line of beverages. CSPI is strongly suggesting that this VitaminWater is really:

Vitamins + water + sugar + hype…equals soda minus the bubbles.

Instead of promoting health, CSPI nutritionists believe this line of product with 33 grams of sugar in each bottle (and in spite of the health buzz words used on their labels like “defense,” “rescue,” “energy,” and “endurance,”) is actually doing more to promote obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.

“While it is true that vitamins do play various roles in the human body, the statements on VitaminWater labels go far beyond even the loose, so-called “structure/function claims” allowed by the Food and Drug Administration and cross the line into outright fraud,” notes CSPI in their press release.

Stay tuned on this one folks! They could both be in for a wild litigation ride. In the meantime, my advice is to get your nutrients (or vitamins) from whole foods as much as possible and to drink water or green tea without added sweetener (or vitamins).

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Posted by: Elaine Magee, RD at 10:00 am

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