Every day, claims are published on the Internet about low-calorie sweeteners and diet soda – one being that they make you gain weight. Despite what’s commonly reported, the overwhelming science actually shows that eating or drinking products with low-calorie sweeteners can help you lose weight or maintain weight loss.
Studies show that drinking diet beverages may help overweight and obese individuals shed a few pounds since they can help reduce calories. Consumers who have lost a significant amount of weight say that drinking diet beverages is one of the habits that helps them keep the weight off.
In June of 2014, the journal Obesity published a study confirming that drinking diet beverages helps people lose weight. James Hill, Ph.D., co-author of the study, stated that “those who drank diet beverages lost more weight and reported feeling significantly less hungry than those who drank water alone.” According to Hill, “this reinforces that if you’re trying to shed pounds, you can enjoy diet beverages.” John Peters, Ph.D., another co-author of the study, pointed out that “there’s so much misinformation about diet beverages that isn’t based on studies designed to test cause and effect, especially on the Internet.”
Unfortunately, most people believe everything they see on the Internet. Many researchers will point out that the science is far from conclusive – and even though the studies prove nothing, they are repeated and shared thousands of times on the Internet. Those who post them either don’t understand the studies or distort their significance to push an agenda.
Obesity researcher Barry Popkin, Ph.D., head of the nutrition epidemiology division at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, says that “none of the studies make a convincing case that no-calorie sodas contribute to weight gain.” Popkin, a vocal industry critic, also notes that “bloggers of the world have latched on to the notion that diet sodas cause obesity, but the science just isn’t there to back it up.”
America’s leading beverages companies offer consumers an array of no- and low-calorie options as another way to enjoy their favorite beverages, while maintaining and managing their weight. Decades of research continues to show that no- and low-calorie sweeteners, such as those found in diet beverages and thousands of other foods and beverages, can help reduce calories consumed and aid in maintaining a healthy weight, a position also supported by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
So drink up, America – just do so in moderation! For more information on the benefits of diet beverages and the sweeteners in them, visit LetsClearItUp.org.