In today’s digital age we are inundated with so-called expert health information from every direction – articles, blogs and social media to name a few. It can be hard to decipher what is fact and what is fiction. Like many health “advice” columns, a recent article published in the New York Post contains plenty of innuendo in lieu of facts.

One such claim is that low- and no-calorie beverages make you fat. Seems strange that a product containing zero calories would cause you to gain weight, right? According to Megan Meyer, Ph.D., of the International Food Information Council, “There is a large body of evidence that clearly outlines that LCS [low calorie sweeteners] are not associated with an increase in weight gain, but rather can be an effective tool in reducing calorie intake, resulting in weight loss.” Even Barry Popkin, Ph.D., a vocal critic of the beverage industry who has studied the issue says, “none of the studies make a convincing case that no-calorie sodas contribute to weight gain.”

The Post article also makes erroneous claims about bottled water. Millions of Americans drink water to stay hydrated as the body requires thanks to the convenience, quality and taste of bottled water. This is a good thing.

The environmental impact of bottled water is minimal and is continuously improving. Plastic water bottles are 100 percent recyclable and account for less than one-third of 1 percent of all waste produced in the United States. The amount of water used for bottled water in the United States is very small – less than 0.02 percent of the total groundwater withdrawn each year. And the oil used to produce water bottles account for 4/100ths of 1 percent of America’s oil consumption. Still, America’s beverage companies are constantly working to reduce the material in their packaging, become more energy efficient and improve recycling rates. These efforts are good for the environment and for business.

Have other questions about non-alcoholic beverages and their ingredients? Get the facts at