Tag Archives: Pepsi

Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper Actually Want You to Drink Less Soda

soda

There may have finally been a breakthrough. Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper have all announced that they plan to work to reduce the number of calories Americans get from beverages by 20 percent in the next decade.

The announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. Soda makers are facing increasing amounts of pressure to do something as sugary drinks continue to contribute to rising obesity rates.

Though obesity rates are still going up, there’s no denying that the idea of being healthier is appealing to more and more people. The last several years have seen customers moving away from consuming soda.

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6 Must-Watch Food Ads to Look For During the Super Bowl

One of the most divisive events of the year is also one that brings the most of us together. Whether you’re a Denver fan, a Seattle fan, or neither, odds are that come Sunday you’ll be gathered around the TV to watch the Super Bowl.

watching football

Super Bowl watchers come in two kinds: the ones who watch for the game, and my people, those who watch for the commercials. It’s a storied tradition that some of the best ads of the year air during the Big Game. It’s such an important part of the experience that companies are shelling out $4 million for a 30-second spot.

With slots that expensive, you’d expect the commercials to be pretty brilliant, right? We think so, but we’ll let you be the final judge of some of our favorite food, and drink, commercials that you can look forward to on Sunday. Beware, there are spoilers ahead!

In an attempt to spark interest, several companies are releasing “teasers” for their Super Bowl ads. M&Ms parent company Mars is one giving us a glimpse of their ad, and it looks like Yellow is in a bit of trouble. Who knows what we may learn on Sunday.

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Big Food’s Deep Pockets Have Infiltrated the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and RDs Won’t Stand for It

The Lorax isn’t directly connected with the dietetic field, but if he speaks for the trees then they are speaking for the health of humanity. The Lorax’s sage words, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” could be the motto of a recently formed group called Dietitians for Professional Integrity.

For now their presence is largely on Facebook and they’re working together, with both dietitians and concerned citizens, to make sure the field’s largest trade organization, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), hears not just their complaints but their calls to action.

apple and money

See, the AND accepts sponsorship dollars to keep their organization rolling. But Andy Bellatti, creator of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, and his colleagues are calling bull – these sponsorships are paid for by the very brands these professionals are working hard against.

“Our main initiative is to have the Academy cut ties with its current sponsors,” noted Bellatti.

When you take a look at their on-going corporate sponsors, that’s where you can see how these dietitians are saying the AND “soils the good name of registered dietitians,” according to our Mary Hartley, RD.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hershey, Abbott Nutrition (which produces Similac), General Mills, and Kellogg’s are some of the organization’s major sponsors. It’s cause for red flags amongst the organization’s members and the citizens who support this movement.

“The big picture issue is how Coca-Cola teaches webinars to RDs, how McDonald’s serves lunch at the California Dietetic Association conference, and how PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are financial contributors to the Academy’s Evidence Analysis Library,” declared Bellatti. To that, Monsanto sponsored the New York State Dietetic Association’s annual meeting.

“The organization chooses to align itself with these brands. It’s misguided,” he said. “It makes us look tone deaf during a public health crisis.” (more…)

How Pepsi Found Itself in the Middle of the Bioethics Debate

Abortion, being the divisive and highly emotional issue that it is, unfortunately makes people jump quickly to conclusions, and in some cases snap decisions. A perfect example of how emotions make us leap before we look occurred when in early 2012, Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey hastily proposed a bill that would ban food “which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients.”

Shortey decided to take action after he reportedly heard news through the pro life group Children of God for Life that Pepsi and others were partnering with a company called Synomyx that was using stem cells in researching taste substitutes for sugar. The Internet, and it appears the senator from Oklahoma, got caught up in this to the point where people started believing that fetal tissue was actually ending up in the foods we eat.

Stem cell research

While Shortey played damage control by saying he didn’t think human fetuses were in our foods, it’s hard to dispute what he hurriedly tried to pass into law.

Stem Cells for Taste Testing?

Senomyx has isolated receptors on cells that detect taste, then added them to HEK293 cells, the stem cell line in question. The company can then test countless additives to see which get the desired taste response much more quickly and efficiently than using people in studies. (more…)

Pepsi’s New Mountain Dew Kickstart is Not a Healthy Breakfast Choice

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Pepsi tries to sell us on Mountain Dew for breakfast.

PepsiCo announced Monday it will be releasing a new “breakfast” drink. Mountain Dew Kickstart is a Mountain Dew-flavored fruit juice drink that will be available in two flavors: Energizing Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch, according to USA Today.

  • Mountain Dew’s vice president of marketing, Greg Lyons, explained Kickstart was born out of consumer demand. “Our consumers told us they are looking for an alternative to traditional morning beverages – one that tastes great, includes real fruit juice and has just the right amount of kick to help them start their days.” (more…)

Diet Pepsi’s New Sweetener is Still No Reason to Drink Diet Soda

There’s a new Diet Pepsi in several cities around the U.S., which now lists a new ingredient on the cans and bottles. It’s called acesulfame potassium, also known as Acesulfame K or Ace K.

This quiet change is apparently not going to change the taste of the soda, but is meant to add shelf life by allowing the “fresh” taste and flavor to last longer. The project’s goal is to give the old/current base sweetener (aspartame) a jump kick because of its sensitivity to heat and susceptibility to breaking down. Ace K has proven to be less sensitive to heat.

So what exactly is Ace K? Acesulfame potassium is another form of an artificial sweetener that is calorie free and about 200 times as sweet as everyday table sugar. Due to its slightly bitter aftertaste, it is often mixed with other artificial sweeteners (in this case it was mixed with Diet Pepsi’s aspartame). It’s often found in many baked goods, processed foods and other soft drinks similar to Diet Pepsi.

“Aspartame breaks down during storage especially when the temperature is high (that’s why you can’t bake with it) and so this is a good move on Pepsi’s part,” said our resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD. “The move has nothing to do with the safety of aspartame, which has been found to be safe in scientific studies time and again.”

That might be one positive factor, but is it enough to make it OK to be consuming the other harmful ingredients listed on the back? (more…)

PepsiCo Has No Plans to Remove Brominated Vegetable Oil from Gatorade

UPDATE 1/29/13: After more than 200,000 signatures on a Change.org petition, PepsiCo has announced it will remove the flame retardant it currently uses in Gatorade. However, the company doesn’t not plan to issue a recall on products in market that still contain the BVO, or Brominated Vegetable Oil.

About a month ago, a 15-year-old teenager named Sarah Kavanagh was looking forward to the Gatorade she had stored in her fridge for after her long afternoon of playing outdoors in the humid heat in Hattiesburg, Miss.

With Sarah being the dedicated vegetarian that she is, out of habit she checked the ingredient list on the drink before popping open the top. While making sure none of the ingredients were made from any type of animal, she noticed it contained brominated vegetable oil. Though it had the word vegetable in it, Sarah still felt like investigating further.

“I knew it probably wasn’t from an animal because it had the word vegetable in the name, but I still wanted to know what it was so I Googled it,” said Sarah. “A page popped up with a long list of possible side effects, including neurological disorders and altered thyroid hormones. I didn’t expect that.”

Needless to say, Sarah threw the drink away without a sip or hesitation. She then began an online petition on Change.org where she now has nearly 200,000 signatures. Sarah’s hoping that she can get enough supporters that will persuade Gatorade’s maker, PepsiCo, to make some changes to the recipe. (more…)

Pepsi Special Aims to Make the Japanese Skinnier with a High-Fiber Additive

Pepsi-Cola isn’t exactly in a healthy industry. Over the past years, big soda companies like Pepsi and Coke have been scrutinized for contributing to the obesity epidemic. In light of this, Pepsi just announced a new fiber-infused flavor, “Pepsi Special,” that claims to reduce fat levels in the body. The product is only sold in Japan.

Pepsi Special contains dextrin, “a type of ‘functional fiber,'” explained our resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD. “This is a fiber isolated or extracted from a plant (or, in some cases, manufactured) added to a food. Dextrins are true soluble fibers that can help improve digestion. They act as ‘prebiotics,’ undigested fibers that feed the friendly bacteria in the colon.”

Benefits of dextrin include stabilizing blood glucose, regulating insulin, reducing risk of heart disease, and reducing cholesterol and fat cell levels in the body. Dextrin can be found in glue products as well, but it’s not safe to consume in that form. There are a number of foods and medications that contain dextrin and have for about half a century, notes Hartley. “Most people eat some dextrins every day without noticing a change in weight,” she said.

Will drinking the new Pepsi product make you skinnier? Probably not.

“Pepsi Special is a gimmick. It is just another product to increase market share,” calls out Hartley. (more…)

Soda Vending Machines To List Calorie Counts in 2013

As if the soda industry hasn’t gained enough negative attention from the New York City soda ban, another wave of criticism has caused a serious change that will roll out as early as next year. 

What will likely become a new national standard will begin taking place in 2013: Vending machines in Chicago and San Antonio municipal buildings will begin showing calorie counts on the front of all machines.

As reported by Associated Press, Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper are introducing new vending machines that will show the calorie count of each beverage before you select it. Mock-ups of the new machines by Coca-Cola show 20-ounce bottles of Coke and Sprite in vending machines with labels on the glass that state “240 calories.” We can only assume that this is another initiative – much like the soda ban – to try and make people more conscious of their diet choices.

This move comes as part of the Supreme Court decision this summer to uphold President Obama’s health care law, requiring vending machines and restaurant chains larger than 20 locations to clearly post their calorie information on the menu. McDonald’s complied last month when it began posting nutrition information on its menus nationwide.

Mike Jacobson, the executive director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told AP that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed an amendment that would require nutrition information to be posted on the side of vending machines via a poster. His organization advocates for food safety and nutrition and is pleased about these upcoming changes, believing they will help people make more conscious decisions regarding their health.

“This would be an important step forward. Currently, people don’t think about calories when they go up to a vending machine,” he said. “Having the calories right on the button will hep them make choices.”  (more…)

School Soda Bans Cause Sales Slump, Forces Healthier Options

Carbonated sodas are finding themselves unwelcome in more and more places than ever before. Most recently, the Faulkton, South Dakota school district has banned soda to be sold inside or brought in the school. This is one of the first complete instituted bans on soda in the country. As this trend continues, soda companies are attempting to make up for the loss of sales.

Many schools have been removing soda and sugary drinks from vending machines in the last few years. It is assumed more total bans will take place as soda is being named public enemy number one by many health organizations. The link between the obesity crisis and sugary drinks seems fair as Americans drink nearly two sodas a day on average. Those two sodas add up to nearly 25 pounds of sugar a year. That sugar equals a plethora of issues for the human body, including weight gain. Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest describes how prolific the consumption of soda is in America.

“We get more calories from sodas and sugary drinks than any other individual food — cake, cookies, pizza, anything.” (more…)