Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is facing a class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California. The suit accuses the company of falsely advertising its Diet Dr. Pepper as a healthy product for many years. In addition, the complaint notes it contains aspartame, which leads to weight gain.
The lead plaintiff is Shana Becerra. Jack Fitzgerald, Trevor M. Flynn and Melanie Persinger of The Law Office of Jack Fitzgerald PC, and Andrew Sacks and John Weston of Sacks Weston Diamond LLC are representing the plaintiff.
She claims that the defendant has provided consumers with misleading information concerning its Diet Dr. Pepper drink. Purchasers believed that the drink will help them with the weight management.
According to the lawsuit, scientific sources show that aspartame, like any other non-nutritive sweeteners, has a negative impact on a person’s metabolism. That’s to say, it may result in weight gain. Additionally, consumers who use Diet Dr. Pepper may suffer from diabetes, metabolic disease, etc.
What does the word ‘’diet’’ mean? The plaintiff mentions she thought such products are meant to promote weight loss. However, the opposite happens when consumers start using Diet Dr. Pepper drinks. Researchers reveal that aspartame is the ingredient which leads to weight gain, as the plaintiff states.
Furthermore, the complaint says studies carried out since 2009 show that drinks which lead to weight gain are dangerous for consumers’ health. They may experience diseases like diabetes. Becerra also added that sweetness of beverages means ‘’energy.’’ So, the sweeter the drink, the more calories are produced. Artificial sweeteners cause metabolic disease and diabetes, as the brain fails to read the number of calories in a proper way. As a consequence, metabolism is reduced, which results in the storage of calories. In this way, consumers who use these drinks are gaining weight instead of losing it.
It’s essential to mention a study conducted by a Yale researcher, who tested the process of our body’s metabolic response to sweeteners that don’t contain calories. The results of the research show that there was a ‘’mismatch’’ existing between sweetness and calories present. The latter didn’t trigger the metabolism.
In conclusion, the plaintiff asserts when a consumer uses a Diet Dr. Pepper while he/she is eating food, the metabolism of calories doesn’t happen in an efficient way. Actually, these calories are processed later on.
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group needed to have known about this scientific research. They should have informed consumers that their product may lead to weight gain. Instead, the drink makers used false advertising to make consumers think they are purchasing a beverage to lose weight.
What the lawsuit seeks
The suit alleges Dr. Pepper Snapple Group violated the following: Food and Drug Administration regulations and California food labeling regulation. Thus, Becerra is seeking to represent a Class of any California resident who bought Diet Dr. Pepper drink either on or after October 16, 2013. The lawsuit also asks the court to make Dr. Pepper Snapple Group stop their fake marketing practices of representing Diet Dr. Pepper as a ‘’diet’’ beverage.