Coca-Cola Introduces Something Called Fruitwater, Which Is Definitely Not Juice

Mmm. Taste the Splenda.
Mmm. Taste the Splenda. Photo: AP Photo/Coca-Cola

Unsure how to wash down your Burger King turkey burger? Or McDonald’s egg-white McMuffin? Coca-Cola’s capitalizing on your desire to eat healthier with a line of zero-calorie, carbonated, fruit-flavored waters, which debut on April 1. Splenda-sweetened Fruitwater doesn’t contain any actual fruit juice, but that’s okay, because the drink is “enhanced with nutrients.” Yuck. Coca-Cola’s marketing the beverage as a healthier alternative to Vitaminwater, which is made with the natural sweetener stevia and packs 125 calories into a sixteen-ounce bottle. In 2010, a nutrition advocacy group sued Coca-Cola for its “deceptive” health claims that Vitaminwater can reduce the risk of disease, but billing these new products as virtuous and healthy is just as misleading. Neither Fruitwater nor low-cal McMuffins nor 530-calorie frozen turkey burgers sound appetizing — or all that good for you. These giant companies are on the defense, and their attempts to cater to health-conscious diners are misguided. Sure, if you’re eating fast food, these options offer fewer calories, but that doesn’t equate to good health. It’s real, unprocessed, and affordable food that Americans need. [Freep, Earlier, AP]