Read Original Story

Metabolism-boosting Coke?

Rating

3 Star

Metabolism-boosting Coke?

Our Review Summary

This is a story about a new low calorie soft drink surrounded by marketing claims that it is a "calorie-burner". The story could have been more assertive with the company experts instead of allowing them to make basically unsubstantiated health benefit claims about weight loss. The piece could have probed further into the claim that the benefit is "proven", when in fact the company has not published or even released the design and results of its study of this product.  The lack of substantive comments by people in the nutrition field (with expertise in functional foods) also limits the usefulness of this piece for consumers. A more responsible means for handling this would been to give an unaffiliated expert in the field of weight loss time to provide some context for the claims put forth by the company spokesperson. (The piece did contain two statements from experts in nutrition who did not appear to have ties to the Coca-Cola company, but the content contributed by these individuals was very brief and far more limiited than the company-produced information.) Although the conversation was carefully crafted not to make exaggerated claims about weight loss, the overall sense of the story would lead a viewer to think that the product would be more helpful in terms of weight loss than there is any reason (data) to support.

The story mentioned that this product was to be used in combination with physical activity and a balanced, very moderate diet to 'invigorate' one's metabolism. This story failed to mention that the same lifestyle interventions without the inclusion of Enviga would elicit the same health benefits. This piece also failed to point out that weight re-gain would be likely when consumption of this bevereage ceased.  In addition, the story did not discuss other approaches to weight loss.

 Overall, the Today Show provided a great commercial opportunity for the new Coke product.  

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Satisfactory

This story presented the cost ($1.29/can) of this product.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

Even if the reported benefit of increasing caloric expenditure by 60-100 calories per day were to be something maintained consistently over time when this beverage were consumed along with a prudent diet and physical activity – there are absolutely no data supporting that consumption of this beverage or the components in this beverage results in weight loss or inhibits weight gain. It is equally plausible that people drinking this beverage in the setting of the real world might actually gain weight because they might choose to munch on snacks while consuming Enviga, thereby increasing their total daily caloric intake.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

There was no mention of potential harms other than some possible concerns about caffeine consumption; even if there is nothing known about harms from this product, that could have been clearly stated.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

There was a lot of pseudo-science tossed about in this story. At this point in time, there are no published studies demonstrating this beverage or the components this beverage contain actually have any effect on weight. Just because there are a small number of studies that found that energy expenditure by non-obese individuals in a very controlled setting differed in a 24 hr. period of time does not mean that that effect will be maintained over a period of time, nor that the body's homeostatic mechanisms for caloric intake regulation will be affected. Just saying that they have science that documents something does not mean that their interpretation is valid. Simply referencing a "study" carried out by the Coca-Cola company is not sufficient.  

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

 The story did not disease monger about obesity and the health risks associated with obesity.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Not Satisfactory

This story carried interview material with a company spokesperson and did contain two statements from experts in nutrition who did not appear to have ties to the Coca-Cola company. It should be noted the content contributed by these individuals was very brief and far more limiited than the company-produced information. These expert statements were far too brief to provide a balanced view.  A more balanced discussion would have greatly improved the value of this story beyond marketing for Enviga.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

The story mentioned that this product was to be used in combination with physical activity and a balanced, very moderate diet to 'invigorate' one's metabolism. This story failed to mention that the same lifestyle interventions without the inclusion of Enviga would elicit the same health benefits. This piece also failed to point out that weight re-gain would be likely when consumption of this bevereage ceased.  In addition, the story did not discuss other approaches to weight loss.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

This story reported that the product will be available in New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey next month and then nationwide the beginning of the next year.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

This story reported on a new product made by Coca-Cola.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

This story did not rely on text from a press release, though much of the information was presented by a company spokesperson.

Total Score: 5 of 10 Satisfactory

Comments

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.