You may have read, seen or heard something today about diet beverages. And it’s likely what you heard was presented as if it were groundbreaking new information solidly grounded in science – and supporting the findings of previous research. Well …. there’s generally two sides to every story. And we’re guessing you heard only one side: the sensational side. You know, the side suggesting that there is “one solution” to weight loss - if only that were the case. We know that losing or maintaining weight comes down to balancing the total calories consumed with those burned through physical activity.
Here’s what you may not have heard when it comes to media coverage of this latest analysis published in the American Journal of Public Health: to assess what people were drinking, the researchers looked at one single day. Yes, a single 24-hour dietary recall – not total diet over time. And they definitely didn’t look at physical activity levels to understand the total picture when it comes to weight. Then they state that overweight and obese adults consume diet beverages. Shocking news? Not quite. Many people trying to lose weight look for ways to reduce calories – including with their beverage choices.
In light of this, as we often do, we wanted to make sure you had all the information you need to make the beverage choice that’s right for you. When it comes to diet beverages, despite what you may have read, these drinks have been shown to be an effective tool as part of an overall weight management plan. In fact, numerous studies have repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of diet beverages – as well as low-calorie sweeteners, which are in thousands of foods and beverages – in helping to reduce calorie intake. A randomized control trial on people – the CHOICE study – published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition just last year confirms that diet beverages can be an important tool in helping reduce calories. And since the topic of “reward pathways” has come up today as well, this same study directly counters the illogical assertion that drinking diet beverages causes people to eat more or to want sweet foods and beverages.
If you want to learn more about other studies that support our position on this topic, check out our news release. We also encourage you to visit Let’s Clear It Up for some quick facts about diet beverages – as well as other beverages and ingredients. And when it comes to the low-calorie sweeteners in diet beverage as well as thousands of other foods and beverages, don’t just listen to us. Check out this interesting blog from a dietitian who dispels some of the myths out there about aspartame.
So, in closing, if you’re someone who drinks diet beverages – for whatever reason – we hope that all of this information will remind you: that’s okay. Enjoy them!