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Vitamin Water Not a Healthy Option


A federal judge has ruled that the case against Coca-Cola will go forward for false advertising of its brand “Vitamin Water,” touted as a healthy alternative to water. However, if consumers would read labels, perhaps they would not have been deceived.

According to the label, a 20 ounce bottle of grape-flavored Vitamin Water, it contains a total of 125 calories and 13 grams of sugar. This means that the “vitamin water” is no more than a non-carbonated soda and soda is not a healthy alternative to water.

In order to use the term “healthy” a product needs to contain a certain level of specific ingredients, including vitamins, protein and fiber, etc. The statement issued by the plaintiffs’ attorneys reads “Vitaminwater… [is] providing unnecessary sugar and contributing to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.”

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What remains to be seen is if the lawsuit will be successful. While the name of the product and other information on the bottle may have mislead consumers, the nutrition label on the bottle contained all the information a drinker would need to know that it was not the healthiest option out there.

According to an Emaxhealth report, consumers are not interested in the labels. In the report, the consumers were asked if they would want nutrition labels at restaurants and the majority of respondents were not interested. That leads to the question: who’s really to blame?

If companies provide the nutritional information of products, listing all ingredients and amounts, and consumers do not read that information, do they not take some of the blame themselves? Or perhaps should there be more of an effort to educate consumers on what that information even means?

For instance, you read that the drink has 13 grams of carbohydrates in it. How much sugar is that? How good or bad is that? Well, some doctors recommend a simple trick: divide the number of grams of carbohydrates in a product by 4 and that will equal how many teaspoons of sugar it produces. This means for every bottle of Vitaminwater, you are consuming three teaspoons of sugar. Oh but wait! That’s just per serving. In each bottle of Vitaminwater, there are two servings. So that is SIX spoonfuls of sugar for every 20 ounce bottle of Vitaminwater.

There are websites out there that can teach you about nutrition labels and what the information really means. There are even videos for those that visually-minded. However, the best comes from the Mayo Clinic. Users can click here for an interactive guide. If you move your mouse over certain areas of a sample nutrition label, you will receive additional information, including a color-coded guide for what to avoid and what to get more of. With tools like these, there is now an easier way to make good health choices.