UK: Vitaminwater too sugary for its health claims

By Associated Press
Posted Jan. 19 at 6:56 a.m.

Vitaminwater has too much sugar to be accurately described as nutritious, Britain’s ad regulator ruled Wednesday, ordering brand owner Coca-Cola to stop running publicity carrying the claim.

The Advertising Standards Authority said Coca-Cola broke ad rules when it described its popular line of flavored water products as “delicious and nutritious” in an ad last summer, explaining that consumers wouldn’t expect a drink marketed as nutritious to have between four and five teaspoons of added sugar.

The Coca-Cola Co. said Wednesday that it was disappointed by the ruling, although it won’t face any further action as long as it doesn’t run the ad again.

The ruling is little more than a regulatory rap on the knuckles, but it underlines trans-Atlantic concerns about the way in which Vitaminwater is marketed.

In the United States, consumers and health advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest are suing over claims that Coca-Cola is using deceptive labeling to sell the drinks. In July, a district court judge wrote that Vitaminwater’s use of the word “healthy” violated Food and Drug Administration labeling rules.

Vitaminwater is made by New York-based Glaceau, which was bought by Coca-Cola in a $4.1 billion deal in 2007.

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  1. Dig Deeper Jan. 19 at 9:21 a.m.

    Oh, for gosh sakes – the sugar contents are on the label for all to see.
    Anyone who cares about their health should actually LOOK at the nutrition and ingredients label and make their own choices. Otherwise, they leave their well-being in someone else’s hands.

  2. RadioFlyer Jan. 19 at 10:24 a.m.

    In the USA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Food Pyramid” is nothing more than an advertising campaign for certain Corporate Farming industries.

    This processed food-like crap that we are told is safe is slowly killing us.

  3. GERRY Jan. 19 at 11:53 a.m.

    Get water from water, Get vitamins from food. I believe that design has worked for quite a while.

  4. Saa Jan. 19 at 11:58 a.m.

    Sugar water with a few vitamins isn’t good for you? Wow, if only we had a NANNY state like in Europe then we would be safe from this menace. People need to use their eyes and brains, not run out and buy stuff on basis of puffery.

  5. Jose Jan. 19 at 12:23 pm


    Did you even read the article? No one is calling for Vitaminwater to be taken off the shelves. This European Nanny state is only saying that Vitaminwater contains too much sugar to label itself nutritious. Why is that a bad thing?

  6. Chicago Steve Jan. 19 at 12:37 pm

    A good substitute (besides actual water) for the sugary Vitamin Water is a product called VitaRain. It’s a Costco knock-off brand, but does not contain sugar. It’s also cheaper.

    Yes, people should read the entire labels, but the manufacturers know that they don’t, which is why the VITAMIN is proudly put on the front of the label and the sugar is listed on the back. Illegal? No. Deceptive? Yes.