THE NEW COKE: HEALTHIER OR NOT?

 THE NEW COKE: HEALTHIER OR NOT?

The journey of the Coca-Cola company in their attempts to create ‘healthy’ forms of the drink are common knowledge. First there was Diet Coke, then came Coke Zero, and now they’ve come up with a new healthy alternative to regular coke: Coke Life. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, it should have been Coke Lite, but they obviously think ‘Life’ is better.
The main selling point of this version of Coke is that it has a lower number of calories (obviously), caused by using a combination of stevia and sugar to sweeten it as opposed to sugar alone. Stevia is a shrub native to South America and its leaves have been used for hundreds of years as a sweetener, often added to tea.
But the questions we’re asking is: how much healthier can you make a Coke by taking out a bit of sugar and replacing it with stevia? Stevia has a liquorice-like taste which means it cannot be used on its own in drinks. It has to be combined with sugar. So surely, any benefit that we get out of this is going to be marginal?
Obesity Polocy coalition spokeswoman Jane Martin agrees. While this is a positive step, she says, it’s quite a small one. Coca-cola is still marketing its high sugar version more aggressively than this ‘life’ version, and most of the marketing is targeted at adolescents, especially with campaigns like ‘Share a Coke’.
We wonder if the healthiest option is not to drink Coke at all. When you’re thirsty, drink water. It’s more refreshing.

Heena

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