Coca-Cola puts new sweetener stevia in U.K. Sprite; company addressing obesity concerns

Unclear if new sweetener will make it to U.S.

NEW YORK - Finding a can of regular Sprite in the United Kingdom is about to get difficult.

Coca-Cola says it's replacing Sprite in the country with a version that uses the sweetener stevia and has 30 percent fewer calories. The move is in response to a government push calling on companies to address obesity. Coca-Cola already offers Sprite with stevia in France.

The Coca-Cola Co. made the announcement ahead of the airing of its anti-obesity TV ad in the United Kingdom. That ad first aired in the United States in January and spells out the company's efforts to address obesity.

A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said the ad will roll out to other countries throughout the year. She said the company is still exploring whether to bring the Sprite with stevia to the U.S.

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