Misinformation aggravates us all, and unfortunately the food industry is rife with it. One Californian man, however, is holding a soda manufacturer legally culpable for false claims about its supposedly antioxidant sodas, including diet Cherry Antioxidant, Mixed Berry Antioxidant, and Pomegranate Antioxidant 7UP flavors.
The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest is co-counsel in the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday.
“Non-diet varieties of 7UP, like other sugary drinks, promote obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and other serious health problems, and no amount of antioxidants could begin to reduce those risks,” says Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of CSPI. “Adding an antioxidant to a soda is like adding menthol to a cigarette—neither does anything to make an unhealthy product healthy.”
To be fair, 7UP isn’t exactly lying when it says, “There’s never been a more delicious way to cherry pick your antioxidant!” Indeed, there is only a small amount of one antioxidant in each beverage.
But it’s always nice to see a corporation making bank off of obesity and diabetes get a slap on the wrist.
Downsides to Drinking Soda
Jacobson is right: diet soda is a wolf in sheep’s clothing in today’s food industry. Fat and calories are spurned above all, even carcinogens like mercury and artificial sweeteners known to cause numerous health problems. How else to explain the rising production of “healthy” sodas and so-called health products that do nothing more than perpetuate the problems they claim to alleviate with a single antioxidant?
The answer to “is diet soda bad for you” is quite obvious at this point. Harvard Medical School researchers studied over 3,000 women for 11 years and found that diet soda consumption had a positive correlation to kidney health decline. Other research found that drinking a single can of diet soda daily is associated with a 34 percent increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, also upping the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Other research from Texas involving 474 individuals also shows consuming two or more diet sodas a day prompts an increase in waist size.
We consumers have our own responsibilities to make healthy decisions with the information we have at our disposal—beginning with the ingredients list.