Diet Coke Drinkers
(Facebook)

Take another sip of that Diet Coke—a new study suggests diet soda drinkers don’t eat any more sugary or fatty foods than people who stick with water instead.

Some researchers have proposed drinks sweetened with fake sugar might disrupt hormones involved in hunger and satiety cues—causing people to eat more.

Others hypothesized diet beverages could boost the drinker’s preference for sweet tastes, translating to more munching on high-calorie desserts.

“Artificial sweeteners are a lot sweeter than regular sugar, on the order of 250 times sweeter, so that’s where the concerns came from,” said Vasanti Malik, a nutrition researcher from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

The new findings may ease some of those worries, according to researchers led by Carmen Piernas, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. But they don’t prove pounding back diet drinks is harmless.

The study included 318 overweight or obese adults in North Carolina, all of whom said they consumed at least 280 calories’ worth of drinks each day.

Piernas and her colleagues advised one-third of the participants to substitute at least two daily servings of sugary beverages with water. Another one-third was instructed to substitute them with diet drinks, including Diet Coke, Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Lipton Tea.

After three and six months, people reported their food and beverage intake on two different days in detail. A previous publication showed participants in both groups lost weight.

According to the new report, water and diet beverage drinkers reduced their average daily calories relative to the start of the study, from between 2,000 and 2,300 calories to 1,500 to 1,800 calories. At both time points, people in the two groups were eating a similar amount of total calories, carbohydrates, fat and sugar, the research team reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Six months in, the only differences were that members of the water group ate more fruit and vegetables and people randomized to diet beverages ate fewer desserts, compared to their diet habits at the study’s onset.

“That’s sort of the opposite of what you would expect if consumption of diet soda increased the preference for sweets,” Malik, who wasn’t involved in the new study, told Reuters Health.

The research was partially funded by Nestle Waters USA, which provided the water used in the study.

Despite the results, diet beverage drinkers may not be totally in the clear.

Another new study, also published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found Frenchwomen who drank beverages sweetened with either real or fake sugar were more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes over 14 years than those who stuck with water.

‘Not the Final Answer’

Piernas cautioned that everyone in her study was heavy and trying to lose weight—so the findings may not apply to normal-weight people who drink a lot of diet beverages.

“This is not the final answer,” she told Reuters Health.

Some studies have suggested an increased risk of cancer tied to certain artificial sweeteners, but convincing evidence is lacking, according to Malik.

“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?” she said.

“I think (diet drinks) can be consumed in moderation, along with other beverages—water, coconut water, sparkling water, that type of thing,” Malik added.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Did you enjoy this health article? Click here to receive new health articles by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit