Enviga’s manufacturers forced to substantiate ‘weight loss’ claims

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Some of you may remember that the Coca-Cola Corporation announced the forthcoming launch of its ‘weight loss’ drink Enviga. Naturally, I felt compelled to blog about this, and included a calculation which revealed that (if what the Coca-Cola Corporation is taken at face value) each kilogram of weight lost through the imbibing of the beverage would cost some £330 ($650 USD) [1].

Well, finally the Coca-Cola Corporation have made got Enviga onto shelves in America, and have done this by teaming up with the food company giant Nestlé. The behemoth formed by the unholy union by these two food companies goes by the name of Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW). No doubt, with its promise of weight loss, BPW see Enviga as a ticket to further its quest for fat profits.

However, there are signs that BPW’s venturing into the weight loss gain will not be all sweetness and light. I read that Connecticut’s Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has asked BPW to substantiate their claims about Enviga’s ‘calorie burning’ qualities. Should Blumenthal be provided with these, then he may none-too-impressed by the fact that the claim is based on a 3-day study performed in 31 individuals who were not even overweight to begin with. Oh, and the study was funded by Nestlé. And let’s not forget that industry funding does seem to significantly up the chances of favourable research results [2].

It’s not just Connecticut’s Attorney General who is on BPW’s case, either. An American body by the name of Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) last December threatened to sue BPW if it continued to make its weight loss and calorie-burning claims with regard to Enviga. On February 1st, CSPI formalised its objections by filing a suit against BPW in the District Court in New Jersey, USA.

I am going to keep a keen eye on how these actions against BPW unfold. Whatever the result, I am personally gratified that some individuals feel strongly enough about potentially misleading nutritional claims made by food companies to do something to save us from them.

I’d like to leave you with a quote from CSPI’s executive director Michael F Jacobson in which he refers to Enivga’s claims and cost: Imagine two of the companies partly responsible for the general fattening of America now urging us to pay $4 a day to slim down with Enviga. The chutzpah! [3]. It really doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?


1. Why the only place Coca-Cola’s Enviga will leave you lighter is in the pocket – blog 13th October 2006

Study reveals the potential for the food industry to pervert the course of science – blog 10th Jan 2007

3. www.cspinet.org

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