Alleged fat-blocking Pepsi Special available in Japan

A can of Pepsi Strong Shot, a Japan-only product.

In Japan, there’s Pepsi Strong Shot, then there’s… Pepsi Special. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/theimpulswivebuy/Flickr)

Soda isn’t typically the first consumable substance that comes to mind when losing weight is topic of discussion. However, PepsiCo would like to change the game for Japanese consumers with its newest release, Pepsi Special. The company claims that this new fat-blocking Pepsi drink contains dextrin, a non-digestible starch found in some baked goods that will reportedly raise the consumer’s metabolism and actually burn fat.

Pepsi Special isn’t the first fat-burner

Forbes reports that Pepsi isn’t the first drink maker to debut a fat-blocking, weight-loss beverage. Kirin Beverage, a company known in the U.S. mostly for its beer, released a sugar-free soda in Japan that was targeted to men in their 30s. That also contained dextrin. Another drink called Celsius claimed to burn fat via the stimulation of 200 milligrams of caffeine. Then there was Coca-Cola’s Fuze Slenderize, an energy fruit drink that mixes minerals in a magical way that promotes weight loss (or so Coca-Cola claims).

Pepsi Special and the no-so-special diet soda domain

At first blush, one might think that a sensible person concerned with their diet wouldn’t drink soda in the first place. Considering just how much beverage companies want your money, their response of attempting to appeal to fat-burning vanity is unsurprising. Many people want to enjoy a tasty soda, and will jump at the chance to lose weight while slurping it lustfully. A recent Gallup survey indicates that about half of all Americans drink at least one glass of soda per day, which means that consumption is definitely going on. Drinks like Pepsi Special will cater to those who want to make their habit something beneficial.

Is fat-blocking Pepsi Special the real thing?

Pepsi Special’s dextrin is a dietary fiber that helps absorb fat. However, the connection between its presence and guaranteed weight loss have not been established. That doesn’t prevent PepsiCo from hawking the product on Japanese consumers, apparently. But it does prevent the beverage company from taking it to the U.S., as the Food and Drug Administration monitors health claims more closely. Currently, the FDA does not allow soda to be fortified with nutrients (and dextrin is classified as a nutrient by the FDA).

ABC News report on Pepsi Special’s fat-blocking power




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