FitFriday: 'Skinny Can' Diet Pepsi angers eating disorder activists
February 11th, 2011
02:34 PM ET

FitFriday: 'Skinny Can' Diet Pepsi angers eating disorder activists

It's all about liquid diets this week.  A new Pepsi can is taking heat and a diet memoir by a pop star's boyfriend about losing 40 pounds while drinking every day is causing a stir. Has the dieting message gone too far?  Comment below.

Skinny can causes fat debate

Diet soda is getting a bad rap this week in health headlines.

But, there’s a different kind of controversy about the new Diet Pepsi, marketed in a slender, cylindrical can, which will make its debut at New York's Mercedes-Benz Fall Fashion Week, which began Thursday

This venue is “rife with eating disorders” said the National Eating Disorders association in a press release.

Pepsi refers to its new Skinny Can can as “taller,” “attractive,” and “stylish.”

“PepsiCo’s comments are both thoughtless and irresponsible,” said Lynn Grefe, the association’s president. “Their shameful misdirection is further exemplified by tying the launch of this offensive marketing campaign to Fashion Week, where women’s body types are atypical at best … and unhealthy as to be fatal at worst.”

Is its campaign offensive to you?

The Drunk Diet

Lady Gaga’s boyfriend has landed a dieting book deal, according to the New York Post. Lüc Carl will write about how he lost 40 pounds while drinking every day, based on his blog The Drunk Diet.

Don’t expect a how-to book, Carl, a bar owner, warns on his blog.

“After reading countless books and being told time after time that it’s impossible to lose weight while drinking alcohol heavily, Lüc Carl decided to take matters into his own hands. Join him on his journey to lose 40 pounds, without giving up his principles of being a hard drinking party maker,” according to his blog.

Exercise improves overweight kids’ math skills

Overweight children put on regular physical activity improved their math scores, according to a study published in Health Psychology.

A group of 171 overweight, sedentary kids were split into activity and non-activity groups.  Those who began to exercise scored higher on cognitive tests that measured planning and academic skills such as math and reading.

The magnetic resonance imaging also showed that the kids who exercised had increased brain activity in the area of the brain associated with complex thinking and decision making.

The more they exercised, the better the result, researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University found. The kids’ intelligence scores increased an average 3.8 points in those exercising 40 minutes per day after school for three months.

soundoff (1,159 Responses)
  1. Mike

    The question has been asked, "why are there so many more people in the world looking to be offended than those who mean to offend?" The Pepsi can is the case in point. It's a marketing gimmick, no better or no worse than thousands of others. The critics need to get a life.

    February 12, 2011 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Paul Ronco

    Pepsi is crap and so are their products and so is this one.

    February 12, 2011 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply

    Michelob Ultra started coming in tall, skinny cans like these awhile back, never heard anyone complaint about that. I prefer them because they take up less space in my fridge. I don't like diet soda or any kind of artificial sweeters so I wouldn't buy the Pepsi, but how does some group make this a controversy? It's stupid. I fail to see how this could be connected to eating disorders.

    February 12, 2011 at 08:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Kaitrin

    THIS is what people are upset over? Grow a backbone people. The can of soda is not saying "look at me I'm so pretty and lovely I have zero calories so you should look just like me–an aluminum cylinder filled with fizzy unidentifiable liquid". For goodness sake... if the can WAS saying that THEN we could have a problem. But as is, there's no discussion here. It's ridiculous. Diet or not, new look or not, it's a SODA and that is all.

    What was it last time? The skinny wheat thins? Didn't they say like "you can never be too rich or too thin"? That was barely worth a little attention, but it was even more valid than this. If the media is so starved for stories then they need to look places other than what Americans put in their mouths, unless it's something like "pringles are actually made of styrofoam, salt, and toxic waste". Get a real story and stop feeding the attention-seekers who actually start this stuff up.

    February 12, 2011 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Daryn

    Being offended by the shape of a can definitely takes an American! If the can really offends you, sit in your garage with the car running and the garage door closed until the offended feeling goes away.

    Oh no, the salt shaker I'm using is making fun of my Mother because it contains salt and she has high blood pressure probably caused by sodium! You b@stards!

    I am more concerned about the cans fitting into standard vending machines than offended any feeble minded dipshts.

    February 12, 2011 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. el kaababa

    I had no idea that diet Pepsi could make me taller! I'm going to buy a case today!

    February 12, 2011 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Apex

    BO HOO Go eat a few more DBL Burgers !!

    February 12, 2011 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Dave

    I love reading the thoughts of idiots with a cause....people, get a life. Is packaging that important? People with eating disorders have serious problems but come on, a can is a big issue?
    Ms Grefe, you are obviously in job protection mode. Get over it, nobody cares what you think. I can't believe they have wasted space on this page on this...oh wait a minute, it is CNN so it is not a surprise.
    People with eating disorders obsess about many things so it if isn't the can it will be something else. Deal with it.

    February 12, 2011 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Maria

    Truth is, if you drink a lot of regular Pepsi and replace it all with Diet Pepsi, you probably would lose weight and at least be on your way to (hopefully) being skinny. I switched to diet soda and dropped 11 pounds. Then I changed my diet and started exercising and dropped 24 more pounds. I don't have a problem with the skinny cans.

    February 12, 2011 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Fat Boy

    I personally know a number of individuals with eating disorders serious enough to require long term counseling, usually medication. Even with that, many people with eating disorders take an immediate and terrible slide downhill if an innocent comment or question comes up in conversation about dietary habits, weight, clothing size, etc. Sounds crazy, I know. And that's the point. It literally is ... a version of crazy. Unfortunately, these are common topics in ordinary conversation. An individuals with an eating disorder may react very badly, for example, if a friend mentions that he's going on a diet. There's complete logicall understanding that this was an innocent comment. But mental/emotional disorders are not logical. So, likewise, despite what some above have said, I tell my friends that being upset about an advertising campaign is just not logical.

    February 12, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom Leykis

      Then perhaps the should go live in a padded room.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
    • ApeHanger

      ...many people with eating disorders take an immediate and terrible slide downhill if an innocent comment or question comes up in conversation about dietary habits, weight, clothing size, etc.

      I see. It's our fault that these people with eating disorders (I believe the succinct term for "eating disorder" is gluttony) have no self-control. How about if we also excuse the actions of murderers because saying the word gun might cause them to start shooting.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
  11. Don C

    This just in... Crisco just announced it will begin selling lard in containers shaped like Jabba the Hut.

    February 12, 2011 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fat Boy

      Ahhhh ... so they will just blop it in a bag and drop it on the counter. End result will look about like me.

      Which is why I need a whole case of those skinny cans.

      February 12, 2011 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
  12. Fat Boy

    Every person I know with an eating disorder would stay as far from fashion week as possible.

    They should make whatever can shape/size sells the most producet. That's their job.

    February 12, 2011 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Steve

    Pretty sure if you've been any way affected by this article, you should do the following: 1. Cancel your internet service. 2. Turn off your tv and get some exercise. 3. Get therapy.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tom Leykis

    I have '0" sympathy for 99% of the fat people out there. They are not a minority. They are slovenly and fat by choice and ignore simple rules of physics and thermodynamics. If you eat MORE calories than you expend, you WILL gain weight. This is about, simply put, fat people having no discipline or self-restraint and getting upset at someone else because they are fat. Fat people should take responsibility for the personal choices, dietary habits, exercise habits and lifestyle. They are the cause of their own problems. Fatness/obesity is the #1 health problem and employer cost in the US and it's disgusting.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ApeHanger

      Hear, hear!

      February 12, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • jennifer armintrout

      Man, I don't know how I'm going to survive without your sympathy. I mean, I've eaten everything else around here, I don't know how I'm going to make it without your sympathy and tax dollars.

      February 12, 2011 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
  15. Anthony Z

    I was just in Italy. That's how their soda cans are shaped. I thought it was rather cool.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ApeHanger

      Good thing their women aren't shaped like that. 🙂

      February 12, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
  16. Demetrius

    This is blindingly dumb. Who in the hell is upset at Pepsi for iterating that fatness = not good?

    February 12, 2011 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. oneSTARman

    WAY TOO WEIRD – I think perhaps a switch to NON-CAFFEINATED drinks might be in order for those Silly Sippers who are offended by a different shape Soda Can. I prefer nice plump cans myself – but to each their own.

    February 12, 2011 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Tyhouston

    Please stop CNN.
    Don't report this...

    We have no REAL activists.... we have whiners. Whiners who sue anyone for a buck. People who have temp agencies as the bulk of their protesters.

    Don't encourage them, don't support them....just ignore them or you will continue to down spiral the country.

    February 12, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. stormy78

    It reminds me of a Red Bull can. I don't think people complained about those at all.

    February 12, 2011 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. cindy

    Do some people have nothing better to do that complain about EVERYTHING?? This is absolutley ridiculous! This is just a maarketing strategy to sell more product, nothing more.

    February 12, 2011 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. kerry

    People are morons.

    February 12, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Tiffany

    Uhhh yeah...this "Skinny Can" is NOT NEW!!! I have a collection of Pepsi's products in these type of cans and that's just the way the cans are sold in the Middle East!!! I even have the HALF sizes of the "Skinny CAN" in Pepsi products. Wished Pepsi would bring Shani to America...but NO these cans ARE NOT NEW!!! I've had my cans for 15 years...Don't fall for it people.. ;-P

    February 12, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Tiffany

    I wish I could post a picture of all the "Skinny Cans" of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Fanta, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Cananda Dry, Shani....15 YEARS these cans have been out.....PepsiCo is trying to pull a fast one on people that don't travel the world to see what the companies are promoting outside the US....I miss my RAID plug-ins for Mosquitos!! Only found..OVER SEAS!!! Thanks J&J....

    February 12, 2011 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. asgardshill

    I just watched a commercial for Ginsu knives, so of course I want to go out and cut myself. I think I'll sue ...

    February 12, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Green Beret

    @JRL, you're an idiot. I hate spending my tax dollars supporting people who over or underinduldge. It's a soda, if you're fat don't drink it. Portion control and exercise is the key to healthy living. The end. Nobody asks me how I feel when I have to subsidize the health care of the obese or terminally thin. The majority of Americans could benefit from portion control, however, they don't have the personal will power. Mental toughness is required to be healthy today. Unfortunately, people like you only encourage their unhealthy decisions.

    February 12, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jennifer armintrout

      It's awesome that you actually know the majority of Americans. How do you keep their names straight, let alone their pertinent medical data?

      February 12, 2011 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Mental toughness... you mean the kind that says psychological disorders are imaginary and most women's health issues are "all in their head?"

      February 12, 2011 at 21:33 | Report abuse |
  26. whatsit

    Is everyone missing the larger point here? What's offensive is NOT this can or soda or even fat people. What's offensive is that Fashion Week is a newsworthy event. Really stupid, really lame and completely pointless to 99.9% of Americans. Take it overseas and leave us out of it. Who the freck wears the stupid shizz they show there anyway? Spacemen!

    February 12, 2011 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mabus

    ....and don't get me started on that smug-a$$ #2 pencil. It should be boycotted for making short, fat school kids feel bad about themselves!

    February 12, 2011 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. jennifer armintrout

    A lot of you are implying that the offended party has created the link between this can and thinness as a beauty standard and are "just looking for things to complain about," when in actuality it is Pepsi who have compared their can to slender women. If Pepsi had marketed the thin cans as being easier to fit in the fridge or a unique design to make them stand out and people complained that it contributed to negative body image, that would be a huge leap. But Pepsi specifically marketed this redesign as having to do with thin women.
    That can is just a dumb idea all around. When I look at that can, I see something that isn't going to fit in a cup holder, will probably give me a hassle with the bottle return machines, and appears to have less soda in it, no matter how many ounces it actually holds. Bad decision, Pepsi.

    February 12, 2011 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LEB

      How do you know that they compared the can to a slender woman? A man can be taller, attractive, and stylish, too.

      February 12, 2011 at 21:30 | Report abuse |
  29. tommas

    Haha, fat people

    February 12, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. dean

    How much of a no-life, loser of a derp do you have to be to become angered by a can?

    February 12, 2011 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. SCdad

    the worst eating disorder in America is OVEREATING, not being skinny. walk around any city block and count the number of anorexics and fat people. There are a lot more fat people just waiting to kill over

    February 12, 2011 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Pro Ana

    I think the last time I flew on an airplane; I was given this same soda can package. It has been around for awhile in test markets, so who cares.... Only ugly fat people would get freaked out by a new package. Look, it's not like they are making your candy bars smaller, so you think you will get skinner by eating them, they do that because the candy companies are cheap and want to sell you less product for the same price.

    February 12, 2011 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Howard Nafzger

    Who cares what the activists think. If they have time to worry about this kind of stuff they need more complex tasks at work to keep their minds busy. How about thinking about how to fix some REAL problems like where is the future water coming from and who will feed the world. We spend too much time glorifying these idiots.

    February 12, 2011 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. cpc65

    What DOESN'T anger activists? Isn't that the basic jist of being one?

    February 12, 2011 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. deportliberals

    Every time anybody does anything, someone is there whining about how "offended" they are. Grow a thicker skin people!

    February 12, 2011 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. tonyde28

    What a shock! Someone is offended! Well, lets just make another change in the laws to make these idiots feel better!

    February 12, 2011 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. DM

    Man, the stupid crap people get indignant over. It's a pop can. Take responsibility for your own actions you friggin' pansies.

    February 12, 2011 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Larry

    My only issue with the skinny can is that it will use more aluminum than a shorter, wider can to hold the same volume.

    February 13, 2011 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Shorter and Fatter

    Would people be more offended if it were a shorter, fatter can?

    February 13, 2011 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. lilac

    no one has complained about those short, fat, cute little 8 oz. cans.

    man, some people really need to find something worthy to worry about. buck up, america.

    February 13, 2011 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. clark1b

    I am so glad there are activists abounding to protect me from these types of exploitations ... there is no way I could ever do this for myself or my family ......

    February 13, 2011 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Jerry

    I used to be a 175-pounder at a height of 6"1'. One summer I went on a "beer diet" where I drank at least a case (24-pack) of Bud Light every day – more on my days-off from work, which also added liquor to the mix – worked out every other day and ate about 3 or 4 times a week. In 3 months I'd put on 15 lbs. of muscle and lost 2 inches off my waist. Beer is good for you. Grain, water, yeast; Hell, it's just bread in a bottle!

    February 13, 2011 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Mike H.

    The "National Eating Disorders Association?" Is this another one of those whiny organizations made up of a six or seven disgruntled folks who need a hobby? It's a can, and it's being used for marketing purposes. Pepsi markets a product to the public and the public, contrary to what the NEDA may believe, is smart enough to know that cola does not provide a dietary benefit.

    I'm sick of self-appointed righteous groups trying to take away our freedom to choose. Maybe we need to focus more on them and less on Afghanis.

    February 13, 2011 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Danny

      I know people who will eat a big fattening meal and think its ok because they drink a diet soda with it.

      February 13, 2011 at 08:51 | Report abuse |
  44. Michelle

    I am dumping the short, chubby, bald can I've been faithful to for 30 years – for a much younger, taller, thinner can. So super hot.

    February 13, 2011 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. CAnada

    WOW whats next?....ICORP (International coalition of red-headed people) launching an attack against Wendy's and pigtails
    ?? oh wait that's happened already hahaha...my point is people bring negative attention to themselves and it causes more of a problem then what was there to begin with.Sad very sad.

    February 13, 2011 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. meh_meh

    is it just me or is the skinny can flat-chested and really cold in bed?

    February 13, 2011 at 05:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Dr Bill Toth

    "politically correct speech" has destroyed a lot of lives. Bad habits are bad habits and they can be replaced with good eating and drinking habits. live with Intetnion, DrBillToth.com/blog

    February 13, 2011 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. MemphisFat

    Here we go again. Diet Pepsi hates me, the fashion industry loathes me. For the love of Pete, will someone for once just say, "I am responsible for my actions and my body". Period. I am overweight and I have yet to find who did this horrible thing to me. But wait! It's Paula Dean, sending subliminal messages in her TV ads, forcing me to eat another piece of pizza. Yeah, that's the ticket, she's making me fat.

    February 13, 2011 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Bobalooa

    this is news? this is ridiculous, comparing cans to people. is something wrong by itself, or s=is it only wrong because we percieve it that way ourselves? It's a CAN!

    February 13, 2011 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. shewett

    I don't care about the shape of the can.....what I found interesting was the little side note at the end: kids who exercise had better scores on cognitive tests and more brain activity associated with the region of the brain related to problem solving. I think there should have been more emphasis on that. THis being said, I am a middle school math teacher, and see the effects daily......

    February 13, 2011 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
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