Wednesday, March 28, 2007
"Pop" your vitamins?
A 50-gallon fish tank, for example can hold a coral reef and a dozen fish - big ones.
Soda makers themselves are big fish: The industry generates $68 billion a year, but within the last few years sales have slacked off as Americans are bombarded with healthier choices.
Enter vitamin soda.
Yep - soda, defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as having "minimal nutritional value"... juiced up with vitamins and minerals.
The Coca-Cola company is launching Diet Coke Plus. It provides 15 percent of your daily value for niacin, B6 and B12, according to the label.
PepsiCo, too is launching a drink called Tava, which the company says meets 10 percent of your daily needs for vitamins B & E.
While the drink-makers are careful not to make health claims, critics insist the companies want you to think they're good for you.
"You can make a product look healthier by simply pouring in maybe a penny's worth of vitamins and minerals," says David Schardt, senior nutritionist for CSPI, a nonprofit organization focused on food safety. "Drinking your vitamins in a soft drink is equivalent to taking a little speck of a multivitamin pill."
You'd need to drink almost 7 cans of Diet Coke Plus... and 10 cans of Pepsi's Tava to get your recommended daily values of those vitamins.
In the vitamin-soda-makers' defense, Cadbury Schweppes, which added vitamin C and calcium to 7UP Plus, tells CNN there's "a lot of demand for soft drinks with added benefits."
Real benefits, say nutritionists such as Elisa Zied, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, come from whole foods and drinks, -- milk, for example -- but if you still feel you need a vitamin fix, water with a supplement is better than a swig of soda.
So while most experts think the health benefits of vitamin sodas fall flat - what do you think?
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