Vitamin Waters = H20 + sugar + spin
Nutrient enriched lolly water far from natural
A CHOICE review of the popular and growing number of vitamin enhanced water drinks advises consumers not to buy into the hype as they are essentially expensive lolly waters with hyperventilated health claims.
Some of the drinks, which go by names such as 'Nutrient Water', 'Smart Water' and 'Vitamin Water' and retail for between $2.50 and $4.00, contain enough sugar in one 500ml bottle to provide the average woman with a third of her recommended daily intake.
Despite this, many come with packaging that spruik over the top health claims and instant wellbeing benefits. For example Nutrient Water claims that drinking its Cranberry Grapefruit Multi-Vitamin will give you the same benefits as 'eight hours sleep, a bowl of steamed greens and pre-dawn power walks.'
CHOICE believes it's time to get tough on potentially misleading promotions and labelling such as 'nature approved ingredients' and 'natural flavours' which mean nothing.
"This type of labelling creates the impression that the drinks can be used as a safety net for a poor lifestyle when grabbing an apple and a glass of water will provide you with far more nutrients for a fraction of the cost," says Ms Just.
When CHOICE complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 2008 that Coca Cola Amatil's Glaceau Vitamin Water made a mockery of food labeling laws, the complaint was rejected. Since that time the market has been flooded with similar products.
"It's time to take another look at the way vitamin enhanced waters are being marketed; these drinks are leading consumers up an imaginary garden path to health and vitality," says Ms Just.
"Treat them like any other sugary or artificial drink; enjoy occasionally, not as a means to any kind of wellbeing whatever the label or pretty pictures might suggest.”
For more information go to www.choice.com.au/vitaminwater
Ingrid Just, CHOICE spokesperson: 0430 172 669