Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Diet Coke with... "Vitamins"!

I came across an ad for Diet Coke Plus today... "each 8 oz. serving provides 15 % of your RDI for niacin, B6 and B12, and 10% for zinc and magnesium". Really? You're going to reach for a Diet Coke for extra vitamins? Puleeze!

Not only is it absurd to think that you would grab a diet drink to obtain some vitamins, but do these diet beverage drinkers realize that the chemicals and artificial sweeteners in these drinks are robbing their bodies of nutrients? Not to mention all the other ills associated with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.

It is unfortunate that such a giant corporation can swing this type of marketing bunk and fool people into drinking this garbage. I guess they have determined that if they are poisoning you, they may as well do it slowly by throwing a few vitamins into the mix. (the slower they poison you, the longer they have you as a customer, after all)!

You may not know that I once almost lived on diet sodas. Oh yes. During my university days, I'd study with a 2-litre of diet whatever close at hand. Though I wasn't eating red meat at the time, I thought little about some of the other foods I was consuming. So I'd sit studying with my diet liquid-poison, and usually with some treats like tortillas and sour cream or ice cream, (okay, I still do the ice cream, but it's much healthier now)!

Now, if I had to choose, I'd drink a full-on white sugar soda before I'd drink a diet soda (not that I drink those either, but if I had to choose...).

If any of you out there drink diet beverages like diet coke or Crystal Light... or if you eat baked goods or other products sweetened with Splenda, etc, please stop. All you need to do is a little research about artificial sweeteners. There's no good news about them. And believe me, I drank enough to know that once you stop drinking diet sodas, you feel better for it - and don't want them ever again.


Anonymous said...

oh gosh... no matter how I try to explain this to people.. they just don't get it.. oh well... we'll outlast them! neenerrr neenerrr!hehe
p.s. love the marketing? makes you feel all nice to drink it! blah.

Anonymous said...

I saw the same ad. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was in "Shape" magazine. It is hard to believe that they are trying to convince people that pop is "healthy". Whatever makes them a buck I guess. On that same note, I was at the grocery store the other day and saw a mom with her kids (10 or 11 years old). They must have bought over 20 bottles of some sports drink. Whoever said that poweraid is equivalent to juice??? No wonder there are so many overweight and unhealthy kids. Very sad!!!! Let's reintroduce water. What a concept!!!!!


PonderingWillow said...

I gave up diet soda when I was 14 and heard news reports linking aspartame to brain tumors...

What's your opinion of Stevia? Not the brown liquid or the leaves, but the white powder sold in shaker jars and little packets at "health" food stores?

I'm addicted to that stuff. I usually always have to have it in cereal for it to be "sweet enough" and that's usually paired with another sweetener.

Is it as bad as its artificial sweetener counterparts and something to be avoided?


VeggieGirl said...

great post, Dreena!! The only beverages I EVER drink are water and nut-/grain-based "milks" (soymilk, hempmilk, oatmilk). I would not touch soda with a 10 foot pole (especially diet soda - I'm with you, on choosing the "real" soda over the diet stuff, if for some reason I can to consume those revolting products).

I wish that Splenda® and other artificial sweeteners would be taken off the market - it makes people think that they can use as much as they want because it's "calorie-free" (which is untrue - if one uses a substantial amount of it, they will be taking in numerous calories).

here's to healthy beverages that are GOOD for our bodies!!

maybepigscanfly said...

What will they do next? Coke has already created so many new "healthier", "lower calorie", etc. products, which are still all filled with the same crap. Are we really that blind to keep falling for their latest marketing schemes.

However, even if coke or diet coke wasn't so terribly bad for you- I could never support their company. They have committed gross human rights violations around the world, and are responsible for many deaths. No one who stands for compassion should buy their products. Sorry to be preachy... check out killercoke.org

Sean said...

While I agree that diet coke/pepsi plus is laughable, please don't help spread myths about artificial sweeteners. No peer reviewed study in human populations to the best of my knowledge of the major artificial sweeteners has shown a positive correlation with disease. Animal studies, most notably of saccharine in the 70's have shown slight correlations with things like bladder cancer. Most of these studies relied on incredibly disproportionate dosages, on the order of 100,000% more than what a person would typically use in a day, to achieve their effects. The worst widely reported and substantiated health effects of artificial sweeteners that I have seen is their ability to inure someone to sweetness so that they end up consuming more sweet things.

On the internet, though, anecdotal reports get thrown around without context or substantiation. People can and do make all manner of ridiculous health arguments using this technique: raw milk cures *insert chronic illness*, "veganism made me sick!," or another controversial and similarly unsubstantiated health claim, shots gave my child autism.

All of that being said I haven't had a soda, diet or otherwise in nearly five years. I still use saccharine to sweeten ice tea but now I mostly use stevia for soy milk or baking. Pure stevia is great stuff, calorie free (unlike most other alternatives that have fillers), and is incredibly potent. I only wish the FDA would approve it for sale as a food product so more companies would begin to market it and the price would come down.

Anonymous said...

im with you!!

Anonymous said...

First off, I completely agree that this product is just another bottle of chemical soup with just a few more ingredients thrown in.
However, I am assuming that the target demographic are those who are already drinking other sodas, particularly competing "diet" sodas.
Nobody who isn't currently a soda drinker would see this and say "geez, you know, I've been thinking about starting to drink diet soda and this clinches it".
People who are already poisoning their bodies with this junk will continue to do so, only now they may be getting a little extra hit of vitamins. People who think about what they put in their bodies will continue to avoid these drinks like the plague.
My point is that this doesn't really change anything. It's just another way to sell sodas to those who already drink them.

Cynthia said...

I completely agree! Not only that, but Splenda as a company is an evil, evil entity. Talk about some of the worst animal testing out there! Ick!

Dreena said...

Hey guys! To address a couple of questions/comments:

Yes, Angie, how ironic that the ad is in "Shape" magazine, huh?! I too often see carts full of soft drinks (diet or regular) in grocery stores, and wonder if these folks drink water... at all!!

Ponderingwillow, I use Stevia myself, mostly for my herbal teas. It is derived from a herb, and the information I have gathered on it shows that it can actually be healthful in terms of not increasing blood sugar levels, and also being good for teeth/gum health. I haven't come across anything negative about it to date, and it isn't artificial as is something like aspartame. I enjoy it for teas and sweetening certain drinks - though I'm not a big fan of its taste in baked goods.

Sean, though I agree that the internet is not always a reliable source for medical information, I cannot agree that aspartame has not been shown to be linked to health problems. I haven't linked to one specific internet resource here about aspartame's harm, however there are too many sites acknowledging it as a dangerous substance to ignore. I don't think there is a reputable health professional that would suggest drinking diet sodas is okay for your health, and these same professionals most likely would tell us that we need milk for calcium - even though we know that this isn't true! I'm not here to argue with you, I simply am airing my opinions about diet soda to hopefully convince folks that might still be drinking them to stop (because I know from experience how addictive they are, and I am quite certain that some vegans are drinking them).

Hi moffman, for the most part, no it doesn't change anything... and that's one of the problems. I'm with you that someone like myself or another eating a fairly healthy, whole-foods diet would never consider drinking diet coke, and never be 'swayed' by this marketing. However, others will be. Young girls that have been drinking sodas or diet sodas, and yet knowing that maybe, just maybe they aren't very healthy to drink. Then Coke introduces this new vitamin-enriched version and these impressionable young girls are suddenly convinced to continue drinking it. Or worse, their mothers or fathers buy it for them thinking at least it's better than the regular diet coke. So they support them drinking it rather than finding ways to change their family's drinks overall. Our nutritional messages are so terribly misguided and confused that this certainly can keep people hanging on, when they might have otherwise tried giving up the junky drinks. That was long-winded chat back to you, but thanks for your comments.

The Veggie Vixen said...

I think soft drinks are addictive. I'll use myself as an example. I rarely drink the stuff. If I do it's a mixed drink (pop of some kind with liquor of some kind) and that's on a rare occasion. When I was pregnant (yes, pregnant) I had a sip of Coke (no liquor) one night and from then on I craved Coke every single night.
Dreena, you raised a very good point -- young girls drinking diet pop. They would only be drinking it for one reason (to diet) and it's sad to think that young girls are prey to such marketing ploys. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Judy said...

What a great post. As a budding nutritionist, I have to agree with you on this. I absolutely hate when companies market garbage as something 'healthy', since most of the general population looks to the media for guidance on health and nutrition. Artificial sweeteners are evil...I will get that word out!

bazu said...

oh yeah, I can not believe the crassness with which corporations will market crap as good for you! It reminds me of Sunny-D as implying that it's fruit juice, when there's not a drop of fruit in it... I really wish the government would start getting more strict about what advertisers could get away with.

By the way, Dreena, I made your banana oat bundles and loved them!

Dayle said...

ugh. gross! i hate soda! okay, once in a (great) while i do like a root beer, but something a little more "natural" than what you find in most stores works for me. i remember when u used to drink all that pepsi. crazy, isn't it? but, as oprah says, when you know better you can do better. it still amazes me how many people continue to drink that stuff. barf!

Vincent Guihan said...

I must be in withdrawal. I stopped drinking diet soda about two weeks ago and all I can think about now is Diet Coke -- now with vitamins!!

Dr. Melissa West, Lifestyle Coach said...

This is totally apalling. I spent oodles of time trying to convince one lifestyle coaching client in particular to give up her diet cola. I swear that stuff is addictive because those people that are hooked will do just about anything but give up their diet cola. Marketers are incredibly clever!

Dreena said...

Veggie vixen, that's an interesting story. I too believe they are addictive - both the regular and diet - but I think the diet are perhaps even more addictive. I was definitely hooked on them. hey, btw, is your blog gone?

Judy, yes, pls spread the word when you are working in the field of nutrition. I don't think many folks question drinking it - becomes so automatic after a while, you know?

Hey Bazu! Ahhh, Sunny D - yes, that's another doozy! But on to real food - glad you loved the bundles. :)

Hiya Dayle... I'm with you on enjoying one of the 'natural sodas' on occasion, like a ginger ale. Sometimes we mix sparkling mineral water with fruit juice and that's nice and refresing too. But thinking back, can't you just picture all the 2L's of diet drinks we had on the counter? It was awful!!!

Hi Vincent... oh dear, this post definitely didn't help matters much. (sorry!) Well done, two weeks! Keep going... we'll cheer you on!! Hurray!!!

Hey Melissa... wow, it has quite a grasp on people, hey? I think if people see themselves as needing to 'clean up' their diet, they want to keep the diet stuff as a treat. Or, on the flip side, if people are eating tons of junk, they think at least they're having the 'diet' drink. What a cycle. Did your client finally get off the diet drinks?

Liliy said...

Soda pop, ugh! People will believe anything. I can not even count how many people have tried to convince me Gatoraide is actually better then water

laura jesser said...

Ugh... I noticed this recently in the store too, and was thoroughly disgusted. It's such a cheap marketing ploy--"healthy" diet sodas!!!

I used to be quite the Diet Coke addict myself... your story about the college days with the 2 liter by your side hit uncomfortably close to home with me. Now I only drink the occasional ginger ale (still helps with a sore tummy, you know) but I ALWAYS drink the real sugar, organic kind. Still not health food, but darn better than that poison I used to guzzle.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Wow! I have not yet seen the commercial or the real stuff in the stores. I don't usually shop in traditional stores so I guess I am out of the loop. My DH is totally addicted to Diet Dr Pepper Caffein free of course. DD is totally addicted to Diet Pepsi. Me I am a water girl. Only water. Years ago I was hooked on diet drinks to, although it has been so long I am not sure which one. Coming off of them was tough. Migrain headaches that I thought would kill me. I had trouble breathing and was tested for food intollerances. Guess what? All artifical sweetners are a no no! They tested bad on me. Even the fake sweetneres in gum. I put a piece in my mouth and within minutes I am having trouble breathing. Poison that is what it is! Great post!

The Veggie Vixen said...

Hi Dreena,

Yes, my blog is no longer. I just didn't have the time to devote to it. I'm a blog drop out. :-)

Dreena said...

Ohhh, Veggie Vixen, that's a bummer. But I totally understand, I'm sure others do too... it's tough to keep up with it some days, especially with the kiddos so young - and for you with a little babe. Just keep in touch with us all, okay? :) And of course, we'll let you enroll in blogging again at anytime!

Grant Smith said...

Was just doing some research on this drink as I was curious whether the B-12 supposedly offered by the drink is derived from a plant-based source.

Although I haven't found an answer without contacting Coca-Cola, I strongly suspect that this drink is NOT vegan due to the fact that cyanocobalamin (last listed ingredient, a form of B-12) is normally derived from animal sources.

Thought I'd pass this along - even though drinking this bev is a bad idea all around.


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