A trio of false advertising lawsuits has put the spotlight on Pepsi-Cola Co., Coca-Cola Co., and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc, three prominent manufacturers of diet soda drinks in the U.S. and around the world. According to the claims in the false advertising lawsuits, the marketing and labeling of these popular drinks mislead customers into believing the diet beverages can assist with weight loss.
While three separate class action lawsuits were filed, each of the class actions alleges similar facts. All three false advertising lawsuits allege that customers are being duped. The lawsuits claim that while the products in question have zero calories, by marketing the products as diet drinks marketers encourage customers to purchase the beverages to help with weight management or weight loss when in reality the aspartame inside the products causes customers to hold on to weight or even gain it.
The complaints claim that scientific evidence supports the assertion that consuming aspartame is counterproductive for weight loss.
According to the false advertising lawsuits, aspartame interferes with the human body’s capability to metabolize calories properly, leading to higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic disease. The plaintiffs claim that another side effect of aspartame is weight gain.
Plaintiffs involved in the false advertising lawsuits assert that the companies’ use of terms like “diet” on the labeling and in marketing materials is confusing for consumers in addition to being illegal.
Multiple studies are referenced in the false advertising lawsuits, including a recent Yale research project showing that diet drinks containing aspartame interfere with the body’s natural metabolism.
According to the Coca-Cola lawsuit, the human brain has evolved to correlate sweetness with calories. When the two do not correlate “the brain becomes confused, thinking there are fewer calories to burn.”
“The brain misreads the number of calories present and reduces metabolism, resulting in more calories being stored in the body,” plaintiffs allege.
In addition to the impact on metabolism, the suit cites research that the sweetness, whether or not it comes from natural sources or artificial sweeteners, increases a person’s appetite and therefore makes it more difficult for them to remain on a diet or lose weight.
Damages Requested in Diet Soda False Advertising Lawsuits
The plaintiffs assert that they struggled with obesity over the course of many years and unsuccessfully tried to use diet soda as one method to manage their weight. The lawsuits state that the plaintiffs purchased and consumed these products largely because marketing led them to believe that drinking diet soda would help with weight loss or weight management.
In addition to seeking damages for those people who purchased these diet sodas, the lawsuit requests that the makers of these drinks remove the word “diet” from their labeling to minimize confusion for future consumers.
If you have been the victim of misleading advertising or labeling, you may have grounds to file a false advertising lawsuit with the help of the lawyers at Bradley/Grombacher. Fill out the form on this page now for a FREE case evaluation.