Diet Drinks Do Not Increase AppetiteMain Category: Nutrition / Diet
Also Included In: Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness
Article Date: 21 Feb 2013
Diet drinks do not increase people's appetite or cause them to eat a lot of sugary or fatty foods any more than water does, according to a new study.
The research came from a team of experts led by Carmen Piernas, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, and was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
These findings contradict prior research which has indicated that drinks containing artificial sweeteners can disrupt hormones associated with hunger, resulting in the consumption of more food.
Studies have also shown that diet sodas make people have the desire to eat more sweet treats, meaning they end up eating more high-calorie foods.
This study has shown that diet beverages may not be as bad as people believe.
The researchers observed 318 overweight or obese adults in North Carolina who consumed 280 or more calories in drinks every day.
Half of the subjects replaced at least two daily servings of sugary drinks with water for the purpose of the study, while the other half replaced them with diet drinks, including:
The water and diet groups lowered their average daily calories relative to the beginning of the investigation, from between 2,000 and 2,300 calories to 1,500 to 1,800 calories.
The water and diet drinkers consumed a comparable amount of fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and total calories at both three and six months.
The only differences found were that at six months in, the water drinkers had more fruit and veggies in their diet and the diet drinkers did not eat as much dessert, compared to their diets before the study.
Vasanti Malik, a nutrition researcher from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, said in an interview with Reuters "That's sort of the opposite of what you would expect if consumption of diet soda increased the preference for sweets." Malik was not involved in the study.
This does not mean that drinking diet drinks are not bad for people at all, however. A different report, also from the same journal, demonstrated that people who consumed drinks that consisted of either real or artificial sugar had a higher chance of developing diabetes over 14 years than water drinkers.
Another study found that sweetened or diet drinks are linked to a greater risk of depression. Scientists have also shown that although diet sodas have fewer calories, they do not lower the risk of cardiovascular problems or stroke.
In the study by Piernas and colleagues, the participants were all overweight, she warned, so the results might not apply to people of average weight who consume diet drinks.
Malik added concluded:
"We're trying to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage intake in the population for obesity, so the next logical question is: what substitutes can be used? I think (diet beverages) can be consumed in moderation, along with other beverages - water, coconut water, sparkling water, that type of thing."
Written by Sarah Glynn
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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