Reporting Jon Delano
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — What if you could eat a plate of French fries, loaded with calories, and not absorb the fat because of what you’re drinking.
“Yes, I want it,” exclaimed one woman in Market Square.
Well, that’s exactly what PepsiCo is selling in Japan; and, so far, only in Japan.
“I definitely need it as I get older,” one man told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.
“I think it’s a great idea, but I’m a little concerned about what they’re going to put in it.”
What’s in it is obviously important.
Unlike the Pepsi bought in the USA, the Japanese will be able to buy something called Pepsi Special.
It contains an additive called Dextrin, a fat-blocking fiber that is supposed to keep the body from absorbing fat and lower cholesterol levels. That’s a claim that the Food & Drug Administration has not yet bought.
But if it does, as a marketing tool, a Pepsi drink that blocks fat could be a winner.
“If you read some of the product claims, there’s one thing I saw that says you’ll be able to eat a piece of chocolate cake and it won’t be absorbed,” says Point Park University business professor Elaine Luther.
Luther once worked for PepsiCo.
Delano: “Should we believe these claims?”
Luther: “Well, this one actually comes from the Japanese government, that they have okayed this claim.”
But the FDA may not be so quick to approve.
Luther, who also once worked for a drug company, says the additive could act like a laxative.
“If you’re not absorbing it, it has to go somewhere,” she adds.
And that does not appeal to some.
“That’s really disgusting. That’s just really gross,” one woman added.
But a Pepsi ad in Japan suggests you can eat both pizza and hamburger – as long as you drink Pepsi Special.
“Oh my gosh, that would be awesome,” said another woman.