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Pepsi CEO: Sodas and Doritos "Aren't Bad for You At All"

By Anthony Todd in Food on Nov 9, 2011 4:00PM

Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi
File this under "literally true but worrisome anyway." Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi re-iterates her position that her products aren't unhealthy in a CNBC documentary set to air tomorrow.

Her main point: "Anything, consumed in excess, is bad for you." Totally true, and we applaud that message. She goes on to point out that, at one point in her life, she consumed the equivalent of a bag of Lay's chips every day and she is just fine. The camera then cuts to beautiful shots of potato sorters and manufacturing plants as she happily points out that the only ingredients in Lay's are potatoes, salt and a little bit of oil. She's particularly proud of the fact that a bag of Lay's contains less salt than a slice of white bread.

Oh goodness, where to begin? Her point about Lay's, specifically, isn't a bad one; a small number of plain potato chips are probably fine for you. The point about Lay's sodium content actually makes us more worried about white bread! However, drinking one Pepsi per day is the equivalent of slurping down almost 14 teaspoons of sugar - or, in this case, high fructose corn syrup. You're also scarfing down significant amounts of phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid and natural flavor. A bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, unlike the average bag of Lay's, contains at least 27 different ingredients, including a ton that we can't pronounce.

Eaten in moderation, these products may not be "bad" for you - and we enjoy a bag of Doritos as much as the next person. But let's not promote them as part of a healthy lifestyle. Soda and chips should be indulgences - not something to be avoided or eliminated from our diets, but certainly not something that we grab whenever the urge strikes. As PepsiCo introduces more healthy products, here's hoping that it'll change its message on some of its more "traditional" product lines. But we're not holding our breath.