Lawsuit accuses diet soft drink makers of misleading consumers

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Lawsuit accuses diet soft drink makers of misleading consumers. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5pm on October 20, 2017. (WPVI)

A class action lawsuit is taking the soft drink industry to task for its use of the word "diet."

The suit was filed against the Pepsi-Cola company, Coca-Cola Company, and Doctor Pepper/Snapple Group.

It accuses the soft drink makers of misleading consumers by advertising diet drinks that are sweetened with aspartame, which does not help in the body's ability to metabolize calories.

The lawsuit claims that consumers could mistakenly believe drinking diet soda will assist in weight loss or management.

Although the studies cited in the lawsuit don't show conclusively that aspartame directly causes weight gain, several do show a correlation between diet soda consumption and obesity.

The Calorie Control Council, whose members include manufacturers of artificial sweeteners including aspartame and the makers of diet soda said: "Reduced-calorie products are an important tool in helping consumers improve their diet and lose weight."

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