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Pepsi ‘Fizzles Out’ Says the National Eating Disorders Association

02-11-2011 09:03 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: National Eating Disorders Association

/ PR Agency: Greenleaf & Associates
SEATTLE — The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) takes offense to Pepsi’s newly announced, so-called “Skinny Can.”

Earlier this week, the Fortune 500 company announced the ill-conceived marketing plan to package Diet Pepsi in a “taller, sassier new Skinny Can” in “celebration of beautiful, confident women.”

The new can (which stands just more than six inches in height) will make its official debut at New York’s Fall 2011 Fashion Week later this month – a venue admittedly rife with eating disorders – but it won’t hit stores until March. The can, claims the company, is “the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks.”

Points out one disgusted, online TheSocietyPages blogger, “Just so we don’t miss the point, the PepsiCo press release refers to the can as ‘attractive’ three times, twice with the phrase ‘slim, attractive.’ Because ladies, never, ever forget: thin = beautiful. Always.”

But, reports CNN, for consumers who prefer the “short and fat” product, the company assures us it will remain on shelves as well.

Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, commented, “It is painful that a major fortune 500 company needs to denigrate the majority of women in this country to sell their products. Most women are not skinny, nor should we encourage them to be anything but their own personal healthy size. The focus should be on health. All women – whatever their body type – should be sassy and confident in their individuality and their beauty. Pepsi should be ashamed for declaring that skinny is to be celebrated. The many millions suffering from eating disorders in this country would disagree.

“PepsiCo’s comments are both thoughtless and irresponsible,” Grefe continued. “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.”

The PepsiCo press release went on to say, “Diet Pepsi has a long history of celebrating women through iconic fashion imagery seen in our infamous and historical campaigns and we’re proud to continue that tradition as an official sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.”

Points out a BNET journalist in response, “…Was it a Freudian slip that the statement uses the word ‘infamous’ instead of the word [they] probably meant, ‘famous’? Pepsi wasn’t particularly ‘infamous’ for its advertising previously, but this can design will help correct that.”

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in Seattle, Wash., is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders.

The 24th annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Feb. 20-26 and NEDA is once again waging war in communities across the country against eating disorders (EDs) and unrealistic “body-perfect” ideals – as well as fighting for more research, support and access to treatment for these life-threatening illnesses.

For more information, visit NationalEatingDisorders.org.

For Treatment Referrals, Visit NationalEatingDisorders.org
Or Contact NEDA’s Live Helpline: 800-931-2237
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (PST)

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. We campaign for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders. We work with partners and volunteers to develop programs and tools to help everyone who seeks assistance.

Since 1999, our national toll-free helpline has assisted families, friends and individuals find appropriate treatment. NEDA is proud that our website serves as an entry point for people around the globe to find information on eating disorders. We serve as an important and welcome first stop for those searching for resources.

National Eating Disorders Association
603 Stewart St., Suite 803
Seattle, WA 98101
Karen Brundage

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