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Confirmed: Diet soft drinks do actually help people lose weight

Participants in a recent study who drank the diet beverages actually lost weight than those drinking water who were on the same diet and exercise plan.

Image: diet drink image via Shutterstock

A STUDY PUBLISHED today confirms that drinking diet beverages does actually help people lose weight.

James Hill, executive director of the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, and one of the authors of the study, said the research directly counters the myths in recent years that suggest the opposite effect. People in the study consuming the diet drinks actually lost more weight than those who were drinking water.

The 12-week clinical study, of 303 participants, which was funded by the drinks industry, is the first prospective, randomised trial to directly compare the effects of water and diet beverages on weight loss within a structured diet and physical activity plan. It found that participants who consumed these diet drinks lost an average of 13 pounds – 44 per cent more than the control group, which lost an average of nine pounds.

In addition to the weight loss, the diet beverage group also:

  • Reported feeling significantly less hungry;
  • Showed significantly greater improvements in serum levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) — the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol;
  • Saw a significant reduction in serum triglycerides.

Both diet soda and water groups saw reductions in waist circumference, and blood pressure.

“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 and the chief strategy officer of the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. “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.”

Read: Drinking two glasses of fruit juice a day is actually pretty bad for you>

Read: This formula has the potential to change what the world considers to be “food”>

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