In the spirit of the Razzies, the tongue-in-cheek awards given for the worst movies of the year, let me present the Jokefood Awards, for food products too ridiculous to be taken seriously. The competition was heated this year, with a tie for first place.
A collaboration between Suntory Japan and Pepsico brings us the first winner: Pepsi Special. This is a Pepsi with an added a fiber called dextrin. A study from the Japanese National Institute of Health found that rats fed both dextrin and fat absorbed less fat than rats who did not receive the dextrin. There are no human studies.
Adding something that is perceived as healthy to a nutrient-poor food like soda pop is the definition of Jokefood. Naturally fiber-rich foods are a nutrition powerhouse. Think beans, vegetables and whole grains as you move towards at least 25 grams of fiber a day. And let’s hope Pepsi Special never reaches our shores.
The second Jokefood winner turns a familiar sugary snack food into a caffeine-containing “adult” snack. They are called Cracker Jack’d, and a 2-ounce serving contains 70 mg caffeine, the same amount as in a 12-ounce cola.
The question here is why. The Food and Drug Administration has begun investigating a possible link between energy drinks and the deaths of at least five people. Is this the time to be adding caffeine to unsuspecting foods?
The product is not being shipping until December, so the calorie count is unknown, but a half cup of regular Cracker Jacks has 120 calories and 3 3/4 teaspoons of sugar. When ordering snack food, you shouldn’t have to ask for the decaf.
Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.