Too Good to Be True: Drink Soda, Lose Weight?

11/14/2012

Is it possible to drink soda and lose weight?

PepsiCo released a new soda this week in Japan called “Pepsi Special.” The soda contains a fiber ingredient called dextrin, which is being marketed as a key ingredient in consuming soda and losing weight.

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Is there a secret to enjoying these guys that we don't know?

Weight loss beverages have been produced by PepsiCo (think Fuze Slenderize fruit drinks) and the Japanese company, Kirin Beverage, before, using the argument that dietary fiber absorbs dietary fat.

While the beverage got the OK in Japan, the FDA in the U.S. is a bit stricter. Nutrition experts doubt that the beverage will be in U.S. stores in the near future.

“The Japanese approval process is lenient for these kinds of fortified foods, and this soda certainly won’t harm anyone -- it's safe. But don't expect this on U.S. shelves anytime soon. The FDA regulates foods and beverages and monitors health claims made by these products. The FDA prevents soda and candy from being fortified with nutrients. (Fiber is a nutrient),” said diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom, in an article on Today.

Fiber is Not the Enemy

Studies show that increasing fiber intake from foods like beans, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables may make people eat fewer calories, but these benefits don't always translate with fiber supplements. Though some studies found that dextrin blocks small amounts fat, it may come with other unintended consequences like bloating, cramping, and,um, less-than-ideal bowel movements.

However don’t discount fiber in other foods. If you take a look at the back of a package and it has three or more grams of fiber, that generally increases the nutritional value of the product. That said, other factors apply, such as fat content, calories, sodium and much more.

So what’s the moral of the story here? Do your research before buying into any old product marketing – just because it tells you it’ll help you lose weight doesn't mean it actually will.

If you saw a product like this one on a grocery store shelf, would you trust it? What are your requirements for a trustworthy weight-loss product? Let us know by leaving your opinion in the comment section!

For More on Eating Healthy:

Tips for Healthy Eating

How to Eat Healthy Every Day

10 Ways to Eat Healthier


The Discovery Fit and Health team brings you the latest (and most interesting) health news as well as exclusive interviews, video clips, and other juicy tidbits from your favorite shows.
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