Wednesday 23 Apr 2014

Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

Coca-Cola defending artificial sweeteners in ad campaign

Published: 3:07 pm CDT, August 15, 2013

Coca-Cola is rolling out an advertisement campaign about artificial sweeteners as sales of diet soda decline.

The Atlanta-based company is planning to run newspaper advertisements that say diet drinks can help people manage their weight, while stressing that aspartame – more commonly known as NutraSweet – is safe.

The move is a response to critics who blame soda for the high rates of obesity. In January, the company released ads outlining its commitment to fighting obesity and highlighting diet options.

Sales of diet sodas are falling at a faster rate than regular sodas in the U.S., according to Beverage Digest, which tracks the industry.  For instance, sales volume for Coke fell 1 percent, compared to Diet Coke, which fell 3 percent. Pepsi dropped by 3.4 percent, while Diet Pepsi fell 6.2 percent.

The American Heart Association released a statement last year on diet sodas, saying that the current data is insufficient to determine conclusively whether they help reduce added sugar or carbohydrate intake. The statement also said it was not clear whether diet soda “benefits appetite, energy balance, body weight, or cardiometabolic risk factors.”

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