Diet drinks may help you lose weight after all, study finds

Diet drinks got a bad rap last year.

Several studies from reputable sources suggested that sipping on these types of beverages interfere with satiety cues and could actually cause people to gain weight, not lose it.

Yet new research published in the journal Obseity turns things around once again, stating that drinking diet beverages can help with weight loss.

"This study clearly demonstrates that diet beverages can in fact help people lose weight, directly countering myths in recent years that suggest the opposite effect – weight gain," James O. Hill, Ph.D., executive director of the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and a co-author of the study, said in a statement.

Short-term study yields positive results

The 12-week study included 303 participants who were randomly assigned to one of two groups: those who were allowed to drink diet beverages or those who drank only water during a period where both groups followed an identical weight loss and exercise program.

Results showed that people who drank diet beverages lost about 44 percent more weight – an average of 13 more pounds – than the water-drinking group. And more than half of the participants who consumed diet drinks lost at least 5 percent of their body weight, compared with 43 percent of the water drinkers.

Those who drank diet beverages also reported feeling less hungry, and they showed better improvements in "bad" cholesterol levels and a reduction in serum triglycerides.

"There's so much misinformation about diet beverages that isn't based on studies designed to test cause and effect, especially on the Internet," said John C. Peters, co-author of the study and the chief strategy officer of the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. "This research allows dieters to feel confident that low- and no-calorie sweetened beverages can play an important and helpful role as part of an effective and comprehensive weight-loss strategy."

Source: University of Colorado, Denver

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