Enviga, a Coca Cola and Nestlé drink touted to have negative caloric balance, is now under legal fire. We have reported about the product and our scepticism on its wondrous waters back in October.
From the statement by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI):
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is suing Coca-Cola and Nestlé for making fraudulent claims in marketing and labeling for Enviga, a new beverage labeled “the calorie burner” on its cans. Enviga is claimed to have “negative calories” and to “keep those extra calories from building up.” The product’s Web site also says the drink is “much smarter than following fads, quick fixes, and crash diets.” CSPI’s suit document http://www.casewatch.org/civil/enviga/complaint.shtml states:
**Enviga consists of carbonated water, calcium, concentrated green tea extract, various “natural flavors,” and ingredients typically found in diet soda, such as caffeine (three diet colas’ worth), phosphoric acid, and the artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame potassium. The company says its green tea extracts are high in an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG.
**Enviga’s main claims are based on a 72-hour Nestlé-funded study of 31 people who were given a drink containing amounts of EGCG and caffeine equivalent to three cans of Enviga. An abstract of the unpublished study stated that on average, those subjects expended more energy. However, none of the 31 were overweight or obese when the study began.
**The study showed that, at best, healthy, active, average-weight people might see a 100-calorie drop every day they drink three cans of Enviga. It would take 35 days of constant consumption of Enviga-105 cans at a cost of about $146 (at $1.39 per can)-to see even one pound of possible weight loss-and that assumes that the consumers would not eat 100 extra calories worth of other foods.
**No test of Enviga has lasted more than three days. One European study found that EGCG and caffeine did not increase energy expenditure after one month and did not help people lose weight. One longer-term Japanese study did show that a tea fortified with EGCG and caffeine helped people lose more weight than a control tea, but that study was conducted by a tea company and the subjects of the study were 38 of that company’s male employees.
CSPI’s scientists have concluded that “Enviga is just a highly caffeinated and overpriced diet soda, and is exactly the kind of faddy, phony diet aid it claims not to be.”