The way I see it, it’s all about selling more Slurpees and not about better health or even helping people lose weight. 7-Eleven is now selling Slurpee Lite, sugar-free versions (made with Splenda) of the artificially flavored and colored brain freezers.

 

Slurpee Lite will have 20 calories per 8-ounce serving. A regular Slurpee of the same size has about 66 calories. The company is hoping that this change will sell Slurpees “to a group who said they would drink Slurpees more often if we take out the sugar and reduce the calories.” That group, apparently, is females in their 20s.

 

Despite evidence that shows that drinking diet beverages can actually lead to weight gain, sugar cravings, and some serious health problems, many people still think that diet beverages are “free” foods they can have in unlimited quantities with no consequences.

 

Are there really no health consequences of drinking a beverage made with artificial sweeteners, food colorings, and flavorings? All of those artificial ingredients have their health risks.

 

Fortunately, Slurpees, sugar-free or sugar-full, don’t need to be a part of anyone’s diet. If you do want to enjoy an icy, fruity beverage, making your own is easy. Try this watermelon slushee recipe or replace the watermelon in it with whatever fresh fruit is in season.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.