A consumer group has brought a lawsuit against Coca-Cola for the marketing of its VitaminWater products.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that the company is engaging in "deceptive" practices by selling the beverages as a healthier alternative to soda.
In fact, each bottle of VitaminWater contains 33 grams of sugar, the CSPI says, which "do more to promote obesity, diabetes and other health problems" than the advertised vitamins do good.
Among the "unsubstantiated" claims made by Coca-Cola mentioned in the suit are the products’ potential to reduce the risk of chronic disease, promote healthy joints and support optimal immune function.
"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 FDA and cross the line into outright fraud," the CSPI says.
The news comes after the FDA scolded Coca-Cola in December over the labeling of its fortified drink Diet Coke Plus, saying it did not contain enough health benefits to use the term "plus."