updated - June 14, 2021 Monday EDT
Diet soft drinks are 44 per cent more effective at helping people lose weight than drinking water alone, a new study said on Wednesday.
The results contradict a number of other recent studies that indicated drinking diet soda may actually cause a person to gain weight, according to a new paper published today in the journal Obesity.
"What we don't know from this study is what the overall quality of the diet was," Judith Wylie-Rosett, a professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health and the Department of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York, told LiveScience. "It answers some questions, but raises a bund of others, in terms of how it may work in terms of diet beverages versus water."
Over 300 people participated in the study. Researchers said that all the participants had to follow the same diet and physical activity plan. The only difference was what they were assigned to drink.
"I was surprised that diet beverages performed better than water," John C. Peters, the chief strategy officer of the Colorado University Abnshutz Health and Wellness Center, and the study's author, told LiveScience. "We are just trying to say, 'Don't worry if you're drinking them while you're trying to lose weight. It is not going to mess up your appetite, or make you want to eat a giant Danish or breakfast roll.'"
"There's so much misinformation about diet beverages that isn't based on studies designed to test cause and effect, especially on the internet," said John C Peters, co-author of the study.
"This research allows dieters to feel confident that low and no-calorie sweetened beverages can play an important and helpful role as part of an effective and comprehensive weight loss strategy," said Peters.
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