Class-action lawsuit accuses diet soda makers of misleading consumers

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A class action lawsuit is taking the soft drink industry to task for its use of the word "diet." (WLS)

A class action lawsuit is taking the soft drink industry to task for its use of the word "diet."

The suit was filed against the Pepsi-Cola company, Coca-Cola Company, and Doctor Pepper Snapple Group.

It accuses the soft drink makers of misleading consumers by advertising diet drinks that are sweetened with aspartame, which does not help in the body's ability to metabolize calories.

The lawsuit claims that consumers could mistakenly believe drinking diet soda will assist in weight loss or management.

The Calorie Control Council, whose members include manufacturers of artificial sweeteners including aspartame and the makers of diet soda said, "Reduced-calorie products are an important tool in helping consumers improve their diet and lose weight."

In a statement to ABC News, the American Beverage Association which represents these three soda companies called the lawsuits "meritless," saying diet beverages have been shown to help people manage their diets and weight.

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