Every once in a while, there will be a blip in the media about diet soda “causing weight gain.”  We’re not sure why this notion gains traction, especially considering that both common sense and science reinforce just the opposite.  So we’d like to share with you  a couple of very important things to remember the next time you hear this myth.

First, the common sense argument:  diet sodas are 99 percent water.  In fact, in most cases, diet sodas have zero calories.  You can’t gain weight from something that doesn’t contribute calories to your overall diet.

Second, if common sense doesn’t prevail, science should.  According to decades of scientific research, as well as regulatory agencies around the globe, low-calorie sweeteners are safe and an effective tool in weight loss and weight management.

Third, while you may read or hear something about diet sodas “causing” you to eat more sweets (and therefore gain weight), a study published this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition directly counters that assertion. It also confirms that low- and no-calorie beverages can be an important tool in helping reduce calories.

And there’s a lot more to support that position:

A paper published in Nutrition Bulletin also showed that “using foods and drinks sweetened with aspartame … is an effective way to maintain and lose weight without losing the palatability of the diet.” A paper published in the International Journal of Obesity concluded that weight loss maintainers use a number of dietary strategies to accomplish their weight loss, including “increased consumption of artificially sweetened beverages.” The position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:  “consumers can safely enjoy a range of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners when consumed within an eating plan that is guided by current federal nutrition recommendations, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes, as well as individual health goals and personal preference.” The American Diabetes Association states: “foods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners are another option that may help curb your cravings for something sweet.”

So next time you want to enjoy your favorite diet soda, you can do just that. And if you want to hear more facts (rather than fiction) about our industry’s products and ingredients, check out Let’s Clear It Up.