Will the Skinny Pepsi make YOU Skinny?

Pepsi, and especially diet Pepsi, want to associate themselves with beautiful, glamorous and  skinny people. In a clever product makeover, they are doing to their cans what photoshop does to models to make them look taller and skinnier.

The new Diet Pepsi Skinny Can, available to consumers nationwide in March, will launch with a series of fashion events and celebrations…

“Diet Pepsi has a long history of celebrating women through iconic fashion imagery seen in our infamous and historical campaigns,” said Jill Beraud, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo.  ”Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks…” Read more from the Press Release…

Does Pepsi think that a skinny can translates to skinny consumer?

What you need to know:

Diet soft drinks won’t help you lose weight. Get over that.

Here is why.

Think about it logically. If diet drinks really worked, America wouldn’t be tipping the scales with over 200,000,000 of us overweight or obese.

Don’t be fooled by a new attractive package. The thin can contains the same amount of liquid as the fat can. Also the same amount of controversial artificial sweetener and chemicals:

Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Aspartame, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Caffeine, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor.

Aspartame is the zero calorie sweetener that tricks our tastebuds. Phosphoric acid leaches calcium from our bones, and potassium benzoate is not recommended for consumption by children in the EU.

Top it all off with a new study that shows an increase in risk for stroke in older people who consume diet soda daily.

What to do at the supermarket:

Skip the beverage aisle all together. Go home and fill a skinny pitcher (glass, not plastic) with tap water.

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  • Nicole Lee

    “Diet soft drinks won’t help you lose weight. Get over that.”

    I don’t believe this is entirely true. When I lost 105 pounds I went from regular to diet soda. Why? Because calorie reduction loses weight. So if I’m drinking 180 calories less a can then that will help me lose weight.

    No, it’s probably not the best choice for you, of course, BUT to say that it doesn’t help lose weight, especially if you’re an avid regular soda drinker like I was, is false.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Editorial Staff

      @Nicole, there are always exceptions to the rule. Happy you were able to shed that much weight. Kudos!
      But if you can switch to tap water, you’ll do your body a great favor.
      Being healthy is not just about weight – you don’t want all the chemicals…

  • http://www.thetableofpromise.blogspot.com The Table of Promise

    Sorry, hate to be a nudge. But I think you left some zeros off that figure of how many overweight and obese there are in this country. Sadly I think the number is actually 200,000,000. Yikes!

  • Corey

    @Editorial Staff

    I feel like the whole argument ‘well if they worked, we wouldn’t have 200mil obese americans’ is not because the diet drinks don’t work, but because more often than not people think that because they’re drinking a diet soda they can go ahead and order that extra large fry… not saying diet sodas are great for you, but I think there are more factors in play. There is no easy answer, culprit, etc.

    But that’s just my two cents.

  • http://foodtrainers.blogspot.com Lauren Slayton

    Blogged about artificial sweeteners yesterday (no Hemi comment :( ) such a sore subject for me.
    In response to reader above, I don’t think the diet soda was a tool in her weight loss and if it were she probably had others. I drink wine while I train for marathons. I do not think the wine helps me run faster (would be nice).

  • mari

    I’ll second Lauren’s comment to Nicole. I sincerely doubt diet soda was the only tool in her weight loss, and yes, water would have got her there faster and healthier. Your kidneys REALLY don’t like all that soda/caffeine.

    And Corey is so right about the justification model that is playing out right now. I sincerely believe that people *think* they can work off all those extra calories in their [fries] by reducing elsewhere or with exercise. It’s just not happening.

    I wish there was money for a “truth” campaign for food!

    • http://chiliandspice.blogspot.com Nicole Lee

      Of course it wasn’t the only factor in my weight loss. Not by a long shot. But I cut nearly 500 calories A DAY this way. That’s 3,500 a week. A POUND A WEEK of extra calories. I’m not saying that using diet soda as a substitute for regular is any healthier, because let’s face it- it’s not. BUT! To say that drinking diet soda doesn’t help lose weight is just not accurate. Calorie reduction is weight loss. Period. End of story.

      I have, since then, gone to one can of a soda a day and only after I’ve had a liter of water. If I don’t drink my liter I don’t get my soda. I work out 4-5 times a week and I eat a healthy balanced diet. All factors that helped me drop the weight. But I’m telling you, diet soda helped me get there and I have no qualms admitting that.

  • Emily

    Actually, diet soda impedes weight loss. Once I kicked my daily Diet Coke habit (1-2 cans a day), losing weight was SO much easier. Because I like the bubbles and find tap water incredibly boring, I made the switch to sparkling water like Perrier and a lime wedge. After I stopped drinking diet soda and had one after months of not having it, I could taste all the nasty chemicals in it. It’s actually pretty gross.

  • http://www.foodieformerlyfat.com Foodie, Formerly Fat

    Wait, does this also mean that if I buy the same clothes that super models wear I won’t look like them?! Just kidding… Do you remember when Coke tried to introduce “Diet Coke Plus” with vitamins added to it. That was almost as horrifying to me as when I saw marketing material for them that said that drinking Coke could help you stay hydrated! I’m not sure if that product is still on the market (it came out in 2007) but this is just another example of the food industry trying to trick us into thinking that we can he healthier if we buy their products. The simple truth is that the fewer of their products we buy the healthier we are. Stay wise people, drink water.

  • bill

    WOW! The editorial staff makes a claim that diet soda doesn’t help you lose weight and instead of actually providing proof of that they turn to fear mongering.

  • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Editorial Staff

    @The Table of Promise
    Thanks for spotting that. Fixed!

  • http://www.marmalade.ca Kelly

    It’s interesting to see the fuss that is being made over these cans. In New Zealand (and Australia), all pop comes in this shaped cans — diet and regular. It’s not a big deal.

  • Geof

    Then I’m screwed. Curious, is there a healthy way to get the cafeine, and from the comments, what hurts the kidneys? the fake sugar? Im curious because one of the tests they run on me for my MS med is to make sure my kidneys are still functioning well (listed possible side effect). IFor me, functioning without cafeine is hard as crap, and I know cafeine is a drug of choice to combat MS fatigue with one poster on MS world saying “They can have my coffee cup when they pry it from my cold dead hands.”

  • http://www.twitter.com/lauren_015 Lauren

    I laughed at the “skinny pitcher” suggestion. Nice touch. :)

    P.S. I gave up Splenda and artificial sweeteners this fall and suffered terrible withdrawals for several weeks. Headaches (which I NEVER get otherwise), nausea, fatigue. They are addictive and dangerous chemicals, people. Do your body, teeth, and wallet a favor and just. drink. water.

  • http://elizabethallred.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    The can is actually quite cute… for a can of toxins that make me feel gross. I thought I was doing something really great when I switched to diet 5 years ago but I’ve since learned otherwise. I gave up caffeine and carbonation during this pregnancy because it made my morning sickness worse and even now when I feel great again, I won’t go back to it. I don’t know if it’s the carbonation, caffeine, or aspartame that makes me sick but my body reacts BAD to it now that I’m not used to it. We’ve switched to keeping a pitcher of tap water in the fridge with chunks of melon or cucumber in it. The flavor is subtle but refreshingly yummy.

  • http://naplesstevens@gmail.com Naomi

    I find it hard to believe that people are surprised that artificial sweeteners are bad for them. If it has to be made in a lab, comprised of chemicals, why would you want to fill your body with it? If the chemical taste doesn’t scare you, the hard to pronounce ingredients should. I don’t love water (which is good for me), but I love fresh squeezed oj (which is not good in large amounts), so I fill a gallon pitcher with slices of orange (peel on). So refreshing and subtle. I crave it when I’m thirsty, which I never did with plain water. For my caffeine fix I drink tea. I personally think the health benefits of caffeine outweigh the negatives when consumed in moderation, and have no qualms with a cup or two of tea per day.

  • http://www.thefrugaldietitian.com Nancy-The Frugal Dietitian

    I did have a client once who lost weight just because he stopped all regular soda and switched to diet – the only change he did. Outside of the soda he ate healthy overall. He was literally drinking 1200+ calories per day in regular soda. The problem is that, as already mentioned, soda drinking, regular and diet often is accompanied with unhealthy eating. On another subject, I am with Mayor Bloomberg – no one on SNAP (food stamps) should be allowed to purchase any type of soda, regular or diet, with their monthly allotment.

  • http://www.thefrugaldietitian.com Nancy-The Frugal Dietitian

    @Naomi
    Where is the reliable data that artificial sweeteners are bad for you? I respectfully disagree – in moderation they are all safe. I am always surprised that stevia is consumed by many that turn around and rally against artificial sweeteners. Plus stevia has significantly less research than artificial sweeteners.

  • http://www.twitter.com/lauren_015 Lauren

    @Nancy-The Frugal Dietitian

    The fact that I had withdrawals after cutting myself off from it is evidence enough for me.

    I would agree with “in moderation.” Lots of things are safe “in moderation.” But when people are eating reduced-calorie EVERYTHING (yogurt, diet soda, Crystal Light, Splenda in tea, coffee, or on cereal, oatmeal, etc.), it adds up. Which is what happened to me.

  • Anonymous

    the marketing campaign rhetoric sounds similar to that used when Viriginia Slims & Silva thins (if I’m remember the name correctly) were rolled out in the early/mid 1970′s. The brands were being marketed to women of their 20′s probably reaching into the 40′s demographic.

    I used to work outdoors all summer (w/horses) for 4-5 years & noticed one summer that: (1) warm coke tastes disgustingly sweet & doesn’t quench your thirst & attracts yellow jackets; (2) the iced tea we could buy from a large deli/caterer–made on site—was a much better thirst quencher and you could get a larger quantity for the same cost (and ice cubes, which kept the liquid colder for longer). There wasn’t much sugar added, some lemon was. Calories weren’t a concern for me then, but there’s not much in the way of calories in lightly or unsweetened iced tea. It’s easy & cheap to make for yourself.

    I never looked back in terms of hot weather beverages. Plus the coke had been creating some stomach issues for me as well. Iced tea never has.

    Much of it’s what you get used to. I stopped drinking soda when I was around 16, occasionally I’d have a coke when I went out for pizza w/friends. But mostly, once I was out of the habit, I didn’t miss it. Water was also what we had to drink w/meals in my family (occasionally wine), the water in our area tasted fine to me, although I often drank milk in the morning as breakfast.

    When I reached 18 or 19, I was able to sometimes drink wine w/dinner. Only beer I’ve liked has been something called lembic beer (if I’ve spelled that correctly).

    I like tea. So mostly, I don’t get the need for sodas or energy drinks or vitamin water or . . . because so much of it is just marketing. Marketing is probably the main reason I started drinking it in the first place, that & “other kids” drinking it.