Coke 'health' drink… with five teaspoons of sugar in it
By James Tozer
Last updated at 8:47 AM on 19th January 2011
They sound like a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks.
But while Vitamin Water may appear virtuous, each brightly-coloured bottle contains as much as five teaspoons of sugar.
Yesterday advertising watchdogs banned makers Coca-Cola from boasting that the water is a ‘nutritious’ drink.
Not so healthy: They may appear to be good for you, but Vitamin Water actually contains 23g of sugar per half-litre bottle
It is the second time in little over a year that the firm has been censured for claims about health-giving properties of the drink, which contains 23g of sugar per half-litre bottle.
It comes in eight ‘give-health-a-big-kiss’ varieties with names like Spark, Defence and Power-C, in flavours such as ‘apple-kiwi’ and ‘tropical citrus’, even though they do not contain any fruit.
The Advertising Standards Authority yesterday ruled that consumers ‘would not expect a “nutritious” drink to have the equivalent of four or five teaspoons of added sugar’.
Most would be expected to finish the bottle – a quarter of their recommended daily intake of sugar, it added.
Coca-Cola had argued the sugar level was within the range of a low-calorie drink, while vitamin content, such as a daily dose of vitamin C, meant it could be considered healthy.
But the ASA banned it from using the word ‘nutritious’ in future ad campaigns.
In 2009 Coke was rapped for implying the drinks were healthier than eating vegetables.
Last night Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, welcomed the ruling, saying: ‘It’s very disappointing they’ve been marketing a drink which is laced with sugar in this way.’
A Coca-Cola spokesman said: ‘We have always been completely transparent that the drinks contain 23g of sugar in each 500ml bottle. We do not believe this detracts from the vitamin and mineral content.’