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 (981 Responses)
  1. Pythagoras

    The real problem with the can is environmental. Because the radius of the circle is squared in the formula of a cylinder the amount of aluminum needed to carry the same amount of Pepsi will be less with a shorter, wider can.

    February 13, 2011 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Not_Obese

    Wondering why all these idiots are wasting their time raising hell about products that are geared towards healthier living. More than 1 in every 3 people in America is obese. That figure had doubled since 30 years ago. America is overweight, and doesn't care about the health risks obesity causes. These products and advertising are directed towards a real problem for their target audience. All of those who are worried about people with eating disorders need to find something else to harp about instead. We don't stop advertising peanuts because those who are allergic to peanuts might eat them. We don't stop advertising alcohol because there are alcoholics in America. FFS, go join PETA (People for the Eating of Tasty Animals) or something. Sea Kittens are yummy, and healthy too!

    February 13, 2011 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      Let's be honest. There's nothing healthy about artificially sweetened diet sodas.

      February 13, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
  3. LG

    People aren't mad at the fact that CAN is skinny. They are annoyed at the marketing that Pepsi is doing trying to promote the thinner can as more attractive blah blah blah, I actually like the thinner can, more portable but ... Diet soda taste nasty anyway.

    February 13, 2011 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Shelby

    Oh, please. I actually had an eating disorder in my twenties and I don't find this ad campaign offensive. I like the new look. For God's sake, it's a CAN.

    February 13, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Scott

    When I see an article and it mentions "activists" or "advocates" I gloss over it quickly because I don't really care what they think, in any situation. They're over-grown children who are thin-skinned and live through their emotions to dictate their thoughts. These folks are the ones who are actually irresponsible and thoughtless. Hey Lynn Grefe, get a grip and back bone and move on.

    February 13, 2011 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Why?

    Is that what we call these losers today "activists"? An activist fights for world change, not to get attention for the activist on CNN. These people should be called 'whiners'. Add to the list the people that bawled about the Rolling Stone Glee cover and Steven Tyler's behavior on Idol. News flash folks, people read these articles because we take pleasure in 'activist' discomfort with society, not because people give a rip about their 'cause' (and I use the term loosely).

    February 13, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. WAAAAA!

    WAAA!!! somebody called me fat, unattractive, and short. WAAA! somebody make them stop WAAA!

    February 13, 2011 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. gd

    Every time I read something like that I just wonder why people place “unhealthy” labels on skinny, tall people. We are not all “unhealthy”, in fact, the majority of skinny people are very healthy. Some of us are lucky to have it genetically; some of us just care what we eat

    February 13, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. jess

    seriously???? of all the stuff going on in the world, and THIS is what these idiots wanna gripe about?! Get real, as in like reality!! Nothing better to do with their time. Put the blame where it belongs and leave the poor "skinny" cans alone! For heavens sake people grow tf up!!

    February 13, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Francisco

    This is ridiculous and an obvious commercial op for CNN and Pepsi. We talk about portions being to big, we make them smaller... End of story.

    This is the kind of BS story that should NOT be covered by a major news outlet.

    February 13, 2011 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ri

    Aren't they just trying to make their can look like a Red Bull or other energy drink can? Give me a break.

    February 13, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. proshooter1

    I think the new Pepsi Can is totally fine and very, very good looking for sure. Of course you will hear the fat people complain because of just that – they are fat, some of them so fat it's totally disgusting – so ANYTHING thin they will take offense at – give it up!

    Now if they would use some freaking COMMON SENSE and stop eating junk food then maybe they wouldn't have such a huge fat problem. I don't know about you but I for one really don't feel that anyone that is way totally overweight can feel offended by the new Pepsi can. For Gods sake why don't you just start eating right and drop a few hundred pounds!!!??

    Pretty simple....

    February 13, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mark Russell

    Did you know they sell Pepsi in foreign countries. All you pepsi drinkers are UNPATRIOTIC!

    February 13, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Steve

    Great, the fattys are upset again... time to buy stock in hostess fruit pies !

    February 13, 2011 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. zero74

    If people want to be fat let them be fat. It's gross and disgusting but its their choice to be that way. Someone has to buy the super-sized meals that a lot of restaurants are selling.

    February 13, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rocky

    more people die from obesity than purging so it's great for obesity

    February 13, 2011 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. matt

    I'm a democrat and its groups like NEDA that give us a bad name. When will people take responsibility for there own actions and go the f&$#ing gym!!! A Diet Pepsi can!!!??? I wish I could take them to some parts of Africa and show them what the "no food to eat disorder" is like.

    February 13, 2011 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JFT

    Why don't they worry about the chemical nightmare that's inside the skinny can?

    February 13, 2011 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Bob

    Drink Faygo!


    February 13, 2011 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. snaporaz

    So...Pepsi thinks it has a hot new marketing package, eh? Not so much – comparing Pepsi's skinny. straight-sided can with Coke's curvy. voluptuous bottle of yesteryear is like comparing Justin Bieber with the Venus de Milo...Gimme a Coke please (in the classic bottle)...just want to wrap my HANDS around it... BOOYAH!

    February 13, 2011 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Tom

    Actually, it is just a scheme to sell more pepsi since the the tall narrow cans are really easy to knock over and spill, then you need another one.

    February 13, 2011 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • misanthropic

      very nice!!!

      February 14, 2011 at 07:52 | Report abuse |
  22. Tiny Cat

    Doesn't matter to me, I'll still chew the can open.

    February 13, 2011 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Anne

    Only fat and ugly women think that's offensive. Of -course- skinny is attractive. Why wouldn't you want to be thin, attractive and in good shape?

    It's a can, people. Grow up and stop finding insults in everything. If you're offended by this can, go look in the mirror and, out loud, say why. Then say it again and really listen to yourself. Maybe you should worry about more pressing things, like how children are starving in this country and we have rampant unemployment instead of getting your knickers in a knot over a can of soda. A can of soda, incidentally, that no one forces you to drink, look at or purchase.

    February 13, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. QuietStormX

    Pepsi? What were they thinking about this can? And to release it at Fashion week is just stupid. I for one don't like stick figures at all. I like the curves in women. This is just..... Who thought of this anyway?

    February 13, 2011 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Robert

    I'm thankful that I'm not short and fat.

    February 14, 2011 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Arizona Huey

    Seriously??!!? You're pitching a fit about a can of soda? My god, this is as bad as PETA whining when President Obama swatted a fly. GROW UP PEOPLE!!!!

    February 14, 2011 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Anthony Messina

    Why do women always think everything is about them. Not all diet soda drinkers are females.

    February 14, 2011 at 00:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Aaron

    So does this can cause women to stick there finger down there throat? Maybe Ms. Grefe should worry more about teaching responsible exercise and eating habits instead of playing victim.

    February 14, 2011 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. EM

    Ok, then how about a can in an hourglass shape showing a set of double-DDs ..........

    February 14, 2011 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. ·thesyntax·

    I'm a man average hight and I wear shoes every day. Who are these activists? I need them to help me sue Nike. My feelings are so hurt by the emotional trauma inflicted on me by Nike Inc. and/or it's parent companies! My self esteem is brought to dangerous lows every time I see a professional athlete with their tall physically fit, above average physical abilities on display for just anyone to see. It's just thrown in my face without my consent while I'm eating my super biggie sized ultimate bacon burger meal combo in what I thought was the security of my home. They have no consideration for my feelings. sniff* sniff* I demand 1 million dollars. Bwahahaha

    February 14, 2011 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. VikingBerserker

    I'l take"Idiots with too much free time on their hands" for $100 Alec.

    Of all the things in the world, this is what they spend their time worrying about??

    February 14, 2011 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. BeingThereDoingThat

    I've been overweight all my life. It's something I'm finally dealing with but as they say, its a lifestyle change.

    'its just a can', yes, but look at it from another side for a minute.

    The outsiders in society have always had difficulty in their struggle for 'equality' with, and acceptance from, the status quo.

    It's taken many decades, but we, as a society, are finally getting to the point where it is no longer acceptable to deride, insult, be offensive to, or insensitive of the feelings of those who are different from ourselves.

    It is no longer acceptable to make jokes about people because of their race, religion, lifestyle or physical or mental impairment. Yet it is still 'open season' on fat people. Why is that?

    I use to market a weight loss product, and as an experiment, I would often ask overweight black women, 'are more discriminated against because of the color of your skin? or because of your size? 8 out of 10 women I asked said because of their size, often because the discrimination would come from members of their own family.

    There is a LOT more to obesity than simply over eating and lack of exercise. Food for some, is an addiction, and it takes a lot of work, both emotionally and physically, to turn around what for some is a lifetime of hurt and low self esteem.

    The 'complaining' as you call it, is not against being thin as a good thing. But we do feel the need to speak up when we are told by all media and society that being thin is the ONLY 'good' thing.

    February 14, 2011 at 06:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Curious

      Being thin is not the only good thing. But there is one thing we know for sure... Being fat is bad.

      I'm overweight myself, but I don't protect my precious little ego by pretending it isn't bad for me to be so.

      February 14, 2011 at 08:25 | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      It's open season on the fatties because you're fat. You can't choose to not be black, white, or Asian, but you can choose to eat healthy and exercise, which you clearly do not. You deserve ridicule and mockery to shame you enough to want to stop being a lazy fat waste of too much space. You take up more resources than thin people, and you eat up more tax dollars due to health concerns for being obese for too long. The environmental toll inflicted by obese people is steep, and there is no excuse for overeating yourself into environmental poverty. It isn't hard to take a walk every day and make good eating choices, millions of people do that every day. If you need packaging of products THAT YOU SHOULDN'T BE EATING/DRINKING ANYWAY if you're trying to be a healthy person, then clearly you made the choice to be fat, and instead of being treated like a special snowflake, you should be ashamed of yourself. Every time you chow down 3x the normal portion of food a human should be eating, think about children dropping dead of starvation.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
  33. Ed Powell

    So what. Pepsi has been selling skinny cans in South Korea for years. It's a novelty.

    February 14, 2011 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. misanthropic

    HOLY CRAP!!! That woman needs something better in her life to focus on! It would take everything in my power to keep a gun barrel out of my mouth if all I had to b1tch about was a soda can. She needs to realize that anyone who drinks diet soda is already on that slippery slope of being a helpless mental case, the shape of a can isn't going to speed the process along or even create a condition that was already there. This lady is making me hate people with eating disorders more than I already do!!!!! Apparently blaming Barbie is so 2000 and late.

    Diet soda in a skinny can doesn't kill people....people kill people.
    So let's sanitize the world even more! I mean look at looney tunes... take 'em off the air because you think they make kids more violent and what happens... they become even MORE violent and you have more cases of kids shooting up schools.
    god damn idiots.

    February 14, 2011 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Curious

    I wonder if the National Eating Disorders association gets offended when car companies talk about how their cars get better mileage because they are more aerodynamic. I mean, clearly those cars are ingesting less because they are sleeker.

    I think I'll go starve myself so people will admire me the same way they would a sporty little coupe. Then I'll blame BMW when my teeth fall out from malnutrition.

    February 14, 2011 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. koko

    People are way to sensitive these days. The can is literally taller, more attractive, and stylish. Pepsi said nothing about fat people. End of story. PS – I prefer Coke anyway.

    February 14, 2011 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Luke

    Hi,....I'm tall, thin, and attractive.

    So yeah.......

    February 14, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. aa915

    Oh come on. What egos! Of course it's All About Them. And in the unlikely event that any given group of Poor Things (pick one) must concede anything *isn't* about them, then they're offended because it isn't!

    (As if eating disorders were really about food to begin with anyway.)

    I suppose if the can were short and wide it would be fat people demanding an apology.

    Maybe somebody should provide soft drink makers with politically correct can specs. And while they're at it, maybe they should throw in "lite" soups as well. How about "lite" beer"? Or would that offend alcoholics somehow? Somebody really needs to make up a list of these things; no one can possibly be expected to keep track of all the ways people keep coming up with to be offended.

    February 14, 2011 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. abbyful

    I find it offensive that skinny women are constantly referred to as "unnatural", "anorexic", "not real women", etc. Some of us are naturally thin.

    February 14, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Melter S.

    Sonja: Ask the question.
    Rajneesh Philbin: Alright. Here's your chance to eat a goat. "What is the name of the disease where people refuse to eat because of a pathological fear of gaining weight? Is it A. Bulimia, B. Dysentery, C. Cholera, or D. Anorexia?"
    Sonja: Hold on.. people starve themselves on purpose?! I've never heard such things.
    Rajneesh Philbin: This is for a goat. What's your answer?
    Sonja: You mean, they have food.. but they don't eat it because they think they're fat?
    Rajneesh Philbin: That's right.
    Sonja: I've heard of Cholera.. and I have Dysentery – I know it's not that. I'll take a guess and say Bulimia.
    Rajneesh Philbin: Bulimia? Is that your final answer?
    Sonja: [ unsure ] Yes.
    Rajneesh Philbin: [ pause ] I'm sorry, Sonja, but it's Anorexia.. you've lost it all!
    Sonja: Can't I have the rice?
    Rajneesh Philbin: No, I'm sorry. We're feeding it to the goat!
    Sonja: Can't I just smell it?
    Rajneesh Philbin: No! That's all the time we have. Join us next time for "Who Wants To Eat?"

    February 14, 2011 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Will

    Those who "can", do.
    Those who can't, censor it.


    February 14, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Marc

    Its a FREAKING CAN! Get over it! If you're upset about this then it reflects YOU not Pepsi. OMG, now I've heard everything. Look, if you aren't happy with the way you look and you're fat, lose weight. It's very simple. You don't need a diet at all, all you need to do is CONSUME LESS CALORIES THAN YOU BURN. Isn't that easy? So if you up your exercise, or eat less, you'll lose weight. If you're fat and you like being that way, good for you. Just don't complain about health care AT ALL. But buzz off about a stupid can. This says more about the people writing than it does the new design. Ugh!

    February 14, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. TRGold

    I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but I read the entire article and all the comments. Granted, I was looking for specific comments, and I found them. Here are my observations:

    1. It's quite literally insane to get offended by a marketing campaign.
    2. JRL, in his/her comments, harangues others for only looking at one side of the issue, while only looking at one side of the issue. I guess he feels, in his utopian vision of the world, that if everyone viewed things as he prescribes, the world would be a better place. But it is hypocritical to demand others give credence to your views when you dont give credence to theirs.
    3. I grew up a skinny (5'11" tall, 112lbs senior in HS), smart, glasses wearing kid. I was skinny through 14 years of military service. I've taken a ration of s**t most of my life for the way I look. Ya know what? I dont give a rat's a**. I have, slowly, and with discipline, gained weight in a healthy fashion. I didn't have the assistance of America's Perennially Indignant in my quest to gain weight. On the contrary, everything was against me, diets were all designed for losing weight, not gaining it. In response, I took responsibility for my condition, even though it was genetic, educated myself on the subject, and executed a plan to rectify it. Fat folks should do the same.
    4. Many of you are slamming CNN for even having this on their website. That's kind of the same as blaming an eating disorder on a slimmer can. If you want real news, read the real news portions of the site. This is a blog, its sole purpose is to present the views of the blogger. Get over it.
    I have to go and buy my girlfriend a six-pack of those skinny cans, see if she gets the hint! Happy Valentines Day!

    February 14, 2011 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Hugh G. Reckshun

    If Coke can make a bottle meant to resemble a curvaceous female form, why can't Pepsi make one that looks like an anorexic? The things people get worked up about is astounding.

    February 14, 2011 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Karlton G. Kemerait

    Honestly, this is your main concern in life, the shape of a Pepsi can! People starving around the globe and in our own back yard, our children's educational future in peril, the economy trashed, and more than 50% of the people in this country think we popped into existence along with dinosaurs 6000 years ago...all this and the shape of a Pepsi can is your top priority. Get over it!

    February 14, 2011 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Jim

    HAHAHA!! This just goes to prove that somewhere a group of nuts will always be offended by anything. Grow up. Seriously.

    February 14, 2011 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Reality

    To argue that marketing does not affect the national psyche's conception of beauty is ludicrous. Of course it does, we live in a consumer society. I have no problem with the new shape of the can, but the words used to describe it the the ad campaigns (taller, attractive) reinforce the notion that tall and thin is the only acceptable form of a woman's body. It is not.

    February 14, 2011 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      Yes it is

      February 15, 2011 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • Actualreality

      Actually it is. Or they would not call them eating "disorders". Calling them "disorders" clearly defines them as not correct. Pay attention, learn words....

      February 15, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  48. jg

    this over-pc nonsense has got to stop

    February 15, 2011 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Maxim G

    Losing it over a skinny can? These people need a hobby.

    February 15, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sabrina Messenger

    They can call it whatever they want. To me, diet pop of any kind is gross. If I'm gonna drink something fizzy, give me Champagne any day of the week! LOL

    February 15, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
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