(DMND) Procter and Gamble’s Fatless Food a Myth

Procter and Gamble (P&G) revealed in a study conducted by Purdue University that it has failed to keep the promise of helping customers remain fit and slim.

As per the study, Orleans, the brand name for Olestra, a calorie-less, fat-free substitute discovered by P&G is more likely to make consumers more vulnerable to weight gain.

In the study, researchers found that rats who were fed with fat-free Olestra chips tended to eat more and put on more weight when they were later exposed to a high-fat diet than their counterparts who were given regular chips .

This suggests that eating Olestra was changing the way the rat’s body responded to food, marring their natural ability to regulate the fat intake necessary for their body.

Researchers, however, declared that though findings from the study conducted on rats can’t be drawn parallel to humans, rats are seen to have very similar biological responses to food as humans.

Olestra was accidentally discovered by P&G in 1968 while searching for more easily digestible fats for premature infants. It has been used in the preparation of traditionally high-fat foods such as potato chips, thereby lowering or eliminating their fat content.

Olestra was approved for use as a food additive in snacks in 1996, however, soon after its reputation of negative gastrointestinal side effects, including intense diarrhea and anal leakage.

Although P&G does not sell Olestra separately anymore, the retail giant still uses it in its products like Light Lays and Pringles Light chips. The company also sells a fat called BakeLean. And the company’s ‘PGFoodingredients’ web site indicates that over 6.6 billion servings of Olean has been consumed.

In a separate story the Cincinnati, Ohio-based P&G’s proposed sale of Pringles brand to Diamond Foods Inc. (DMND) for $1.5 billion.

Currently P&G holds a Zacks #3 Rank. On a long-term basis, we maintain an Outperform rating on the stock with a short-term Hold rating.

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