A US lawsuit against Coca-Cola Co. by a weight loss instructor and author has been dropped.

The legal challenge, brought last week by Julia Havey, had accused the drinks company of encouraging over-consumption of its products through a loyalty campaign. Havey had claimed that consumers would have needed to drink hundreds of Cokes every day to accumulate enough points for high-end prizes.

Yesterday (1 August), Havey filed a motion to dismiss her suit in St Louis. "They (Coca-Cola) have come out and said: `No, no, no, we don't intend someone to drink that much. They can have a party and give (drinks) away,'" she told reporters.

Havey also said that she was satisfied with Coke's response, even though the company did not meet any of the demands she originally set out as conditions for dropping her suit. "It did raise a great deal of public awareness, which I think is important," she added. "It got people talking."

Coke dismissed the lawsuit last week, suggesting that Havey was using the announcement to draw attention to her new book about weight loss. The company said yesterday that it is assessing its legal options on the matter.