LIFESTYLE
23/07/2013 14:07 BST | Updated 24/07/2013 09:37 BST

Coca-Cola Likely To Face Legal Action Over Vitaminwater Health Claims

AP

A court has recommended that Coca-Cola face legal action, following accusations that they misled consumers over the health benefits of Vitaminwater.

According to Reuters, consumers are unable to sue collectively for monetary damages, but can attempt to change the labelling and marketing of Coca-Cola products.

The decision was made on Thursday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Levy and is the culmination of a lawsuit spanning four-and-a-half years, which involves various complainants and health advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The consumers first filed a legal action in 2009, reports ABC, claiming that the product's marketing was misleading -- alleged health benefits included promoting healthy joints, boosting the immune system and fighting eye disease.

See Also: Are These 'Healthy' Drinks Really That Good For You?

The Coca-Cola Co, said in a statement:

"We firmly believe the plaintiffs' claims are without merit and will ultimately be rejected. Vitaminwater is a great tasting, hydrating beverage with essential vitamins and water--and labels clearly showing ingredients and calorie content."

Howstuffworks.com have highlighted what they call a "big red flag" in Vitaminwater:

An entire bottle contains about 32.5 grams of sugar. For the sake of comparison, a can of Coca-Cola Classic contains about 39 grams of sugar.

Because the sugar found in Vitaminwater or Coke is made from a refining (or purifying) process, it contains no nutrients or vitamins beneficial to our health.

The site also highlights that Vitaminwater contains between 100 to 125 calories, whereas a can of Coke contains 140.

Earlier this year Coca-Cola announced plans to join the global fight against obesity by displaying calorie counts, promoting exercise and not marketing to children aged under 12.

Have you tried Vitaminwater? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments below