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The Impulsive Buy

Jamba Juice is worse for you than a Coke (at least in terms of sugar and calories), but that isn’t stopping the smoothie giant from a publicity stunt philanthropic effort this Saturday:

Sept. 14 will see the biggest smoothie chain around benefitting National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month with its $1 smoothie promotion.

That Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., all sixteen ounce smoothies will be just $1 in California Jamba Juice stores, with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to the purchase of athletic equipment for local schools.

Kids being more active is good. Ginormous smoothies that pack in sweeteners are not. As commenter Bob Winters points out, a 16-ounce classic Jamba Juice smoothie has 290 calories and 63 grams of sugar — 92 more calories and 9 more grams of sugar than 16 ounces of Coca-Cola. As Winters writes, “The Vitamin C battle goes to JJ, but if you want to fight childhood obesity? Drink water.”

Adds Mother Jones, “[Jamba Juice’s] light smoothies are all made with a mysterious ‘dairy base’ that contains the artificial sweetener Splenda … [R]ecent studies suggest that people who consume artificial sweeteners, particularly in diet sodas, actually end up gaining more weight.”

Maybe for its next health campaign, Jamba Juice can team up with Burger King and KFC?