You think you’re doing something better for yourself when you skip all the sugary stuff at the fountain drink station for a seemingly-better choice of sugar-free diet soda to sip with your triple cheeseburger and chili fries, but you aren’t, according to a research team led by Dr. Sara N. Bleich at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. People already struggling with their weight and consume diet soda actually eat more food than those who don’t.
Overweight and obese adults who drink diet beverages consume significantly more solid-food calories—particularly from snacks—than those who drink sugary beverages. The findings highlight the challenges in using diet beverages to help control weight.
The researchers studied almost 24,000 adults, age 20 and older, who reported all the food and beverages they had consumed in a previous 24-hour period. Results appeared online in the American Journal of Public Health on January 16, 2014.
The team found that 11% of healthy-weight, 19% of overweight, and 22% of obese adults drank diet beverages. Diet drinks appeared to help healthy-weight adults maintain their weight. These adults consumed less food and significantly fewer total calories on a typical day than did healthy-weight adults who drank sugared drinks.
The total calories consumed by overweight and obese adults who drank diet beverages, however, were similar to that of those who drank sugary beverages. Heavier adults who drank diet beverages tended to eat more calories in the form of solid food. Overweight and obese adults who drank diet beverages consumed 88 and 194 more calories from solid foods per day, respectively, than those who drank sugared beverages.
To understand these differences in solid-food intake, the scientists took a closer look at patterns of solid-food consumption. Notably, obese adults who consumed diet drinks ate significantly more snacks than those who had sugared drinks. Those who drank diet beverages consumed 131 calories per day in salty snacks and 243 in sweet snacks, compared to 107 and 213, respectively, for obese adults who drank sugared drinks.
“The results of our study suggest that overweight and obese adults looking to lose or maintain their weight—who have already made the switch from sugary to diet beverages—may need to look carefully at other components of their solid-food diet, particularly sweet snacks, to potentially identify areas for modification,” Bleich says. [SOURCE]
If you’re struggling with your weight and want something else to drink besides diet soda, opt to flavor your own with a specially modified water bottle that doubles as an infuser. Chop up some fresh strawberries and blue berries, or mint leaves to flavor your water so it’s not so boring and isn’t full of chemical junk that might actually make you eat more garbage.
You can purchase a ready-made bottle..
Or make your own…