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Who needs water?

Don’t blame 7-Eleven stores for the rising tide of American obesity.

The “Guilt-Free Brain Freeze” (as one headline put it) is now available for the diet-conscious nationwide. Introducing: the zero-calorie Slurpee.

But before you rush down to your neighborhood 7-Eleven looking for calorie-free cherry, pina colada, pineapple orange, or super sour watermelon Slurpees, you should know that the only flavor without calories is diet Pepsi. No surprise then that this new Slurpee is aimed at attracting women, dieters and diabetics, as opposed to kids who are primarily interested in ratcheting up their sugar intake to maximum sucrose overdrive.

A normal 22 oz. Slurpee contains about 330 calories. That’s a lot of calories. Especially when you consider they’re 100% from sugar. 7-Eleven reps say they sell over 13 million Slurpees each month. Which adds up to well over 4 billion calories.

An Associated Press article quoted a Ruth Frenchman as saying that if you drink a no-calorie Slurpee, “you can quench your thirst and not gain weight.” The AP item doesn’t tell us exactly who Ms. Frenchman is (A Slurpee customer? A USDA dietary advisor? A person entirely unfamiliar with water?), but her take on the benefits of the new Slurpee is right on the money. As long as your diet consists of calorie-free Slurpees and nothing else.

So I might drive down to the 7-Eleven, pick up a 96 oz., zero-calorie, diet Pepsi Slurpee, sit in front of my TV and slurp away. Not only will my thirst be quenched, but so will my daily allowance of artificial sweetener and food coloring. Yum! And all with no calories.

I can’t wait to see where this new Slurpee will end up in the Food Guide Pyramid.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute

“7-Eleven Introduces Calorie-Free Slurpee” David Koenig, Associated Press, 8/22/03,