A new study is once again claiming that drinking diet soda will help aid in a weight loss program. The 12-week study, funded by the American Beverage Association, followed 300 people with an average weight of 200 pounds. The participants were divided into two groups for the purpose of the study. One group continued drinking diet soda, while one group replaced it with water. The group that continued to drink artificially-sweetened soda in lieu of water showed more weight loss. While this has the beverage industry salivating, experts across the globe agree that water is healthier for your body when dieting and exercising.
Researchers from the University of Colorado and Temple University conducted the study. Members of the beverage association include over 40 different Coca-Cola bottling facilities and about 30 from Pepsi-Cola. After just 12 weeks the researchers decided to go ahead and publish the findings, even though the study was originally to take an entire year. It concluded that the group that kept drinking diet soda lost on average 13 pounds and the water drinkers who kicked their soda habit for the study lost only an average of nine pounds. The results of this study were published in the June 2014 issue of the journal Obesity.
A professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at Purdue University, Susan Swithers, wrote a report last year that showed that diet soda drinkers had the same health issues as non-diet drinkers. Swithers’ study indicated that diet drinkers had an increased risk for a number of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and excessive weight gain. The new study did not count the amount of calories consumed during the study, but concluded that it was more likely that those who quit drinking soda ate more to try to satisfy the bodies’ craving for sweets. One of the researchers who conducted the study did state that diet soda and other artificially sweetened drinks did not help in weight loss.
In addition to the previously recognized health-related problems mentioned above, other issues could arise from drinking diet pop on a regular basis. An 11-year study conducted by the Harvard Medical School of over 3,000 women showed kidney function declined while drinking diet pop. Not only did the decline begin after drinking more than two sodas a day, but also was not associated with sugar-filled sodas. That interesting tidbit led researchers to believe that low-calorie soda was what contributed to the decline of kidney function. Drinking diet soda or soda in general will cause tooth decay, as the acid in soda wears away tooth enamel, leading to more dental problems and possibly loss of teeth.
Partiers who like to mix diet pop with their alcohol should be aware that it will give a better buzz, but with a horrible hangover the next morning. The Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia conducted a study of mixing alcohol and diet soda and found that it gets people drunker faster. The sugar-free soda allows the alcohol to enter the bloodstream at a faster rate than regular soda, leaving behind a much harsher hangover in the morning. This phenomenon may cause an increased interest in diet soda for many people, whether they are trying to lose weight or not.
By Melissa Monk