Enviga was the first drink to boast not zero, but negative calories. But as for the buzz that drinking the carbonated, green tea blend will result in weight loss, attorneys general say the evidence is nada.
"If you want a 'calorie burner,' take a brisk walk," Attorney General Rob McKenna said. "It's free, invigorating and a proven weight-loss aid."
McKenna joined 27 other attorneys general last week in announcing a settlement with Coke, Nestlé and Beverage Partners Worldwide concerning their marketing of Enviga.
The companies agreed to add disclosures to Enviga and any similarly formulated product, to disclaim any weight loss benefits and note that weight loss can only be achieved through diet and exercise. They will also pay $650,000 to the states. Washington's share of $39,000 may be used for attorneys' costs and fees or consumer education.
The states began an investigation in 2007 into express and implied claims that drinking Enviga will burn more calories than it contains, thereby resulting in weight loss. Specifically, advertisements indicated that consuming three cans a day of the artificially sweetened beverage would result in a person burning an additional 60 to 100 calories. The companies cited a study that ran for three days and consisted of a group of 31 adults ages 18-35 who were all normal weight.
Assistant Attorney General Shannon Smith, of the Consumer Protection Division, said while some study participants did burn additional calories, they didn't lose weight. Attorneys general questioned the implication that the general population would experience the same calorie-burning effect. Additionally, the study didn't establish that calorie-burning could be sustained over time.
"Even if the study results were typical, a person would need to drink 105 bottles of Enviga over 35 days to burn a single pound," Smith noted.
The following states participated in the settlement: Alaska, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and the District of Columbia.