Lawsuit alleges Coke spent billions of dollars deceiving customers on the health risks of sugary drinks

Business Insider
Kate Taylor

Coca-Cola is in hot water over the health risks of sugary drinks.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer-advocacy group, claims that Coca-Cola and industry group the American Beverage Association have misled customers regarding the health risks of consuming sugary drinks such as soda.

“Each year, Coca-Cola reaps huge profits from the sale of its sugar-sweetened beverages,” the suit reads. “Each year, Coca-Cola spends billions of dollars on misleading and deceptive promotions and advertising that have enormous appeal to consumers, including children, which advertising effects persist over years.”

The suit specifically takes issue with Coca-Cola and the ABA’s emphasis on “calories in, calories out” and exercise as the best ways to manage health, which CSPI argues ignores scientific evidence linking sugar-sweetened drinks to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The suit additionally claims Coca-Cola purposefully misled Americans on the health risks of drinking soda by funding research that downplays the dangers of sugary beverages, a practice the company ended after public criticism.

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