New study shows diet soda can help with weigh loss. Diet sodas are supposedly a healthier alternative to soda; sugar-free and artificially sweetened. With more than 20% of Americans drinking diet sodas today, is diet soda really a health risk?
A new study published in the journal, Obesity, claims diet beverages, such as Diet Dr. Pepper, Coke Zero, and Diet Snapple might help people lose more weight than just drinking water, which counters other studies claiming diet soda might cause a person to gain weight.
Funded by the American Beverage Association, researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Health Center and Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research, split up 300 overweight people into two different groups for a 12-week weight loss and exercise program.
One half of the group was asked to drink 24 ounces of diet beverages per day and as much water they wanted. The other half was asked to drink 24 ounces of water with no diet drinks at all, and avoid all artificial sweeteners, such as Equal or Sweet’N Low. However they were allowed to consume foods that had sugar substitutes, such as gum, candy, and ice cream.
The results concluded participants drinking diet beverages and water lost an average of 13 pounds, while the group who didn’t drink diet beverages and mostly water, lost only 9 pounds. That is a 4-pound difference and 44% more weight loss from the diet soda drinkers. The group whom drank diet soda and water reported feeling less hungry and showed improvements in cholesterol levels and a blood pressure.
But why was the diet soda group more successful? It all comes down to willpower. Cutting calories and doing exercise daily takes willpower and by giving up diet soda, something that is enjoyed, it’s harder to stay on track. The group who avoided diet sodas most likely ate more calories in food.
Susan Swithers, professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at Purdue University claimed it is uncertain that artificial sweeteners, found in diet soda, can benefit a person’s health since the study only lasted 12 weeks.
Also, Dr. Hill, from the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Heath Center, claims diet soda is not to be promoted for weight loss.
Kristi Norton, a regular diet soda drinker before the study began, was placed in the group that was not allowed to drink diet and lost 12 pounds. After the study, she felt she had more energy and felt healthier.