Diet Sodas don't help in losing weight, says studyBy Rashmi Kalia
A new study suggests that people who drink diet soda to lose weight may be undoing the effort to lose weight by indulging in foods loaded with sugar and fat, US News Health reports.
"It may be that people who consume diet beverages feel justified in eating more, so they reach for a muffin or a bag of chips," study author Ruopeng An, a kinesiology and community health professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said in a university news release.
"Or perhaps, in order to feel satisfied, they feel compelled to eat more of these high-calorie foods."
However, the study did not prove any conclusive relation between drinking diet sodas and eating unhealthy food.
However, the American Beverage Association (ABA) said the researchers didn't prove their theories.
"This study, based on surveys of Americans and their diets, proved something that is well known: many people eat things that 'are not required by the human body,' " William Dermody Jr., vice president of policy at the ABA, said in a statement.
"But from that unsurprising observation, the author leaps to the unproven and unsubstantiated claim that diet soda 'may' be why people choose to eat a range of other foods such as french fries or doughnuts rather than eat exclusively from the major food groups," Dermody added, according to US News Health.
The researchers examined government data collected on the eating habits of more than 22,000 adults in the United States.
The study found that those who drink diet beverages may not be saving any calories because they may otherwise indulge in foods that have more sugar, salt, fat and cholesterol.
The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The study authors concluded that opting for diet drinks may not help people lose weight if they don't eat healthy foods and do not control the size of the portions of food they eat.
"If people simply substitute diet beverages for sugar-sweetened beverages, it may not have the intended effect because they may just eat those calories rather than drink them," An said in the news release. "We'd recommend that people carefully document their caloric intake from both beverages and discretionary foods because both of these add calories -- and possibly weight -- to the body."