Diet soda not helping weight loss

Diet soda not helping weight loss

When people set goals to lose weight one of the first commonly cut items is regular soda – either altogether or switching to diet. But now a recent study from Johns Hopkins University is saying that this switch may turn your weight loss program around in a negative way.

In particular, for those people who are overweight or obese trying to lose weight, researchers found when they switched to diet drinks, they actually were consuming more calories than those who drink regular soda.

“When you make that switch from a sugary beverage for a diet beverage, you’re often not changing other things in your diet,” said Sara Bleich, lead researcher of the study in Johns Hopkins press release.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, reviewed data from a previously released National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey including information from 1999-2010. The research included information about what participants ate and drink in a 24-hour period.

Results showed that one in five overweight or obese American adults consistently consumed diet drinks.

“Although overweight and obese adults who drink diet soda eat a comparable amount of total calories as heavier adults who drink sugary beverages, they consume significantly more calories from solid food at both meals and snacks,” Bleich said.

Recent data shows a steady increase in diet soda drinkers up more than 15 percent from the 1960s, but Bleich also points out that just last year there was a seven percent decrease in sales. She correlates this with an increased consumption of flavored water, juice and tea.

The research also found that those drinking diet soda are actually consuming the same amount of calories as regular soda drinkers, just getting their calories elsewhere.

“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 said.

Researchers conclude that if people are going to switch to diet soda as part of a weight loss program, they must cut calories in other areas as well.

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About the Author

Sarah Scroggins
Sarah Scroggins

Sarah Scroggins, health enews contributor, is the director of social media at Advocate Aurora Health. She has a BA and MA in Communications. When not on social media, she loves reading a good book (or audiobook), watching the latest Netflix series and teaching a college night class.