Despite being a tad healthier than Coca-Cola, the all-new Coca-Cola Life drink, still contains around six teaspoons of real sugar and 89 calories per can.
The soft drink giant has now been accused of “health washing” because one can of the new drink, which is slated to be a much healthier option than the real thing, still contains the full amount of an adult’s recommended daily allowance of sugar.
While the green can is justified by a touch of Stevia mixed in with the sugar, a 330ml can contains just 35 percent less real sugar than Coke.
Dr Kieron Rooney, a nutritionist from the University of Sydney, told reporters, “Coke Life should not be considered a healthy option… it should not even have a seat at the table. This is health washing, yes it is less sugar than the original but that is still an excessive amount – it is still a sugar sweetened beverage and is no way part of a healthy life or lifestyle.”
According to Dr Rooney, if anything Coke Life is worse than the real deal as it could potentially be more addictive, “It’s called a super mix, a little bit of sugar and sweetener drives over consumption… if this translates to the human population then that is fantastic for Coke’s profit line. Coke will be pushing more products but we will be doing more detriment to our health,” Rooney said.
Rooney went on to warn that consumers should beware and realize that, according to him, Coca-Cola Life is no healthy alternative, “There would have been some work that went into the association of green with health. I can understand how on some superficial level at least that it is seen as a healthier product. But people should be aware that a sugar sweetened beverage is still an excessive calorie product with no nutritional benefits,” he said.
At the same time, Professor Amanda Lee of Queensland University of Technology, told reporters, that new Coke Life drink was a classic example of “greenwashing,”
“It reminds me of the stage we were up at 30 years ago when manufacturers were making healthy cigarettes. I’m worried, it’s trying to make a product that’s intrinsically unhealthy, healthy. There’s a high risk that many consumers could be confused, thinking that it’s a low-energy option when it’s not.”
Of course for Coca-Cola, the new Life drink is wonderful, as Lisa Winn Coca-Cola South Pacific Marketing Director, said,
“Coca-Cola Life truly is another example of us keeping in step with consumer demands. We’re confident that the new product is what consumers have been looking for. We’ve achieved the taste you’d expect from Coca-Cola with 35% reduced sugar and kilojoules, compared to Coca-Cola. Coke Life isn’t simply a new product from Coca-Cola – it’s another great choice for people who want a delicious Coca-Cola to fit their lifestyle. There is a Coca-Cola option for everyone.”
[Image credit: Thejournal.ie]