Healthy soda? Pepsi releases ‘fat-blocking’ soda in Japan

Annie Z. Yu Contributor
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PepsiCo released a new “fat-blocking” soda called “Pepsi Special” in Japan on Tuesday that contains the dietary fiber dextrin, which Pepsi’s Japan distributor claims will reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body.

Japanese ads for the fiber-filled soda, targeted toward young, health-conscious men, asked, “Why choose between a hamburger and a slice of pizza? If you choose Pepsi Special, you can have both!”

The indigestible fiber causes people to feel fuller, which helps prevent them from eating too much. The additive also causes an increased number of bowel movements.

A Japanese study published in 2006 found that rats fed a dextrin-filled diet had a lower fat concentration. Other studies showed that dextrin may help prevent obesity and reduce negative effects of a high-cholesterol diet.

‘The food and beverage category in Japan has many unique products,” said PepsiCo in a statement. “In this case, our partner Suntory is launching a low-calorie, fiber-infused beverage to compete with similar offerings already in the marketplace.”

Another recently released Japanese soda, Kirin Mets Cola, also contains dextrin and is targeted toward men in their 30s and older, suggesting they will be able to eat all the fast food they want with the dextrin-infused drink.

However, unlike Kirin, Pepsi Special is not sugar-free. It contains a high level of high fructose corn syrup, according to Yahoo’s Lisa Collier Cool.

The Today Show’s diet and nutrition editor, Madelyn Fernstrom, noted that Pepsi Special should not be expected in the U.S. market due to the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations against nutrient-fortified soda and candy.

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