Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. makes deceptive “net carb” claims on its food packaging, according to a class action lawsuit that alleges the company fails to include sugar alcohols in a deceptive marketing scheme.
Lead plaintiff, Joseph Colella, alleges in the Atkins deceptive marketing class action lawsuit that consumers were deceived by Atkins’ claims about the “net carbs” included on labels on its food products. According to the plaintiff, sugar alcohols affect blood sugar levels, but Atkins ignores these in an attempt to deceptively market its products as low sugar.
“Atkins Nutritionals products falsely and inexplicably feature a ‘Net Carbs’ label that excludes an entire category of carbohydrates (carbs): sugar alcohols,” alleges the plaintiff. “Atkins has publicly admitted that its artificial definition of ‘Net Carbs’ is indefensible, yet refuses to fix its labels.”
The plaintiff says that consumers fell for Atkins’ deceptive marketing and purchased Atkins products because of the “net carbs” designation on the packaging. “Atkins made these false, misleading statements to deceive consumers into purchasing its products under the belief that they are extremely low in carbohydrates, when, in fact, they are not,” says the Atkins net carbs class action lawsuit.
The plaintiff says the following products contain misleading statements about Atkins net carbs:
Blueberry Greek Yogurt Bar; Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bar; Strawberry Almond Bar; Cinnamon Bun Bar; Chocolate Chip Granola Bar; Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar; Cookies n’ Crème Bar; Mudslide Bar; Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar; Triple Chocolate Bar; Caramel Chocolate Peanut Nougat Bar; Caramel Double Chocolate Crunch Bar; Cashew Trail Mix Bar; Coconut Almond Delight Bar; Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Crunch Bar; Caramel Chocolate Nut Roll; Dark Chocolate Decadence Bar; Chocolate Chip Crisp Bar; Chocolate Hazelnut Bar; Chocolate Oatmeal Fiber Bar; Cranberry Almond Bar; Chocolate Covered Almonds; Chocolate Candies; Chocolate Peanut Candies; Caramel Nut Chew Bar; Chocolate Caramel Mousse Bar; Chocolate Coconut Bar; Nutty Fudge Brownie; Peanut Butter Cups, and Peanut Caramel Cluster Bar.
According to the Atkins net carbs class action lawsuit, Dr. Atkins originally banned the use of artificial sweeteners under the Atkins diet that became popular in the late 1990s; however, says the plaintiff, the prohibition on sweeteners was revised by Atkins once a lucrative product line was developed using the chemical sugar alternatives.
Atkins products contain maltitol, says the plaintiff, a sugar alcohol that Dr. Atkins required diet followers to account for in their “net carbs.” Atkins products, however, are now deceptively marketed as zero net carbs, when maltitol is included in the ingredient list, according to the class action lawsuit.
“Atkins does not disclose the conflict between Dr. Atkins’ espoused method of calculating ‘net carbs’ and the method used by the company,” alleges the Atkins deceptive marketing class action lawsuit.
The Diabetes Teaching Center and the Mayo Clinic have conducted research on the effect of sugar alcohol on blood sugar levels. “[D]on’t be fooled – sugar alcohols are still a form of carbohydrate, and they still affect your blood sugar levels, if not as dramatically,” stated the Diabetes Teaching Center, according to the Atkins deceptive marketing class action lawsuit.
The term “net carb” misleads consumers as well, alleges the class action. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has warned companies that the term is misleading and should be avoided since 2001.
The plaintiff seeks to represent residents of New York who have purchased Atkins’s products in New York that contained sugar alcohols and were labeled with the allegedly deceptive “net carbs” calculation.
The plaintiff is seeking damages, including punitive damages, and a disgorgement or restitution by Atkins to class members.
The Atkins Net Carbs Deceptive Marketing Class Action Lawsuit is Joseph Colella v. Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., Case No. 17-cv-05867-KAM-SJB, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.
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