Critics say the new drink still contains more than four teaspoons of sugar, one 4 minutes 1 of a child"s recommended everyday intake

Coca-Cola is to launch a naturally sweetened drink in eco-friendly cans together its an answer to an main anti-obesity drive. Photograph: Coca-Cola/PA
Coca-Cola is come launch a normally sweetened drink in eco-friendly cans together its an answer to an official anti-obesity drive. Photograph: Coca-Cola/PA

Coca-Cola has announced plans to launch a new version of its bestselling soft drink through a third less sugar and also a 3rd fewer calorie as part of government and also industry initiatives to tackle obesity.

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Coca-Cola Life, an initial piloted in Argentina and Chile last year, is sweetened from natural ingredients fairly than synthetic sweeteners and will start in the UK in the autumn. The is the very first new Coca-Cola come be introduced in the UK because the arrival of Coca-Cola Zero in 2006, a low-calorie variation targeted at men.

The company said the new drink would help meet the pledges made under the UK government"s spontaneous anti-obesity drive – the duty deal – and also would offer consumers a better choice.

But health and wellness campaigners claimed the company was misleading shoppers as the brand-new product to be still laden with sugar – more than four teaspoons that sugar per 330ml have the right to – identical to one 4 minutes 1 of a child"s day-to-day recommended best intake.

Sweetened v a blend of sugar and also naturally sourced stevia sheet extract, a 330ml can of Coca-Cola Life contains 89 calories and also will function striking green branding the will contrast with the acquainted red packaging. A can of traditional Coca-Cola includes 139 calories.

An extract indigenous the stevia plant, i beg your pardon is aboriginal to southern America, is already used in the company"s Sprite and also Glacéau vitamin water, and by various other manufacturers.

In the UK, Cola-Cola is a signatory come the government"s controversial responsibility deal, which aims to improve public health, and has cursed the company to alleviate the mean calories every litre in its range of sparkling drink by 5% by the finish of 2014. Much more than 40% the the cola offered by Coca-Cola in the UK is currently no-calorie, it says, including two zero-calorie choices – Coca-Cola Zero and Diet Coke.

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Dr Aseem Malhotra, clinical director of activity on Sugar, set up previously this year to reduce the amount of sugar added to food and soft drinks, said: "Whatever the agency says, this is a product v a high street content and also it will encourage people to have a sweet tooth. Companies favor Coca-Cola have actually no interest whatsoever in public health."

The Children"s Food project said : "In irradiate of recent calls because that a sugary drinks duty, the new Action on street campaign and also the chief clinical officer openly considering the require for a sugar tax, we are now seeing sector trying to appear as despite they room responding.

"Fundamentally, this is around a agency launching a sugary product to encourage more people come consume a substance the contributes to a selection of dietary and also health-related problems, including diabetes. Coca-Cola shows up to be making use of the cover of the government"s discredited obligation deal to look for acclaim for bringing the end a product the still has over 4 teaspoons the sugar every 330ml can, which amounts to one-quarter the a child"s everyday recommended maximum input of sugar."

It stated the nature that Coca-Cola"s business, of selling the public street products, had not changed: "There is no commitment come stop cultivating or marketing their full-sugar brands, or of "smart-swapping" come diet and no-sugar alternatives, together Public health England recommends."

James Quincey, president of Coca-Cola Europe, said: "We were early signatories come the UK government"s obligation deal and, together we job-related with rather across culture to resolve the public health difficulty of obesity in the UK and throughout Europe, we will continue to take it actions that help people balance their lifestyles."