“Diet” soda does not pretend to help you lose weight, a California appeals court has ruled.
“The prevalent understanding of the term in (the marketplace) is that the ‘diet’ version of a soft drink has fewer calories than its ‘regular’ counterpart,” a panel of judges with the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously decreed Monday.
“Just because some consumers may unreasonably interpret the term differently does not render the use of ‘diet’ in a soda’s brand name false or deceptive.”
The ruling comes in response to a fraud suit filed by Shana Becerra against the company behind Diet Dr Pepper.
Becerra claimed she’d been swindled into purchasing the beverage for 13 years in an attempt to whittle her waist — but had yet to shed a single pound.
The same court last week shot down an attempt at appeal by the Santa Rosa woman in her lawsuit against Diet Coke for similar claims.
Becerra alleged in her 2017 actions that she “did not receive what she paid for,” when she purchased the beverages. She additionally alleged that studies had shown the artificial sweetener, aspartame, actually caused weight gain.
The amino acid byproduct has been approved for consumption by the US Food and Drug Administration, and is used in many low-calorie products.
Since the court ruled that Becerra failed to show false advertising and fraud by the companies, they were not forced to consider aspartame’s possible side effects.