A groundbreaking new study published recently in Obesity, the journal of The Obesity Society, says drinking diet beverages helps people lose weight.
“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,” said James O. Hill, Ph.D., executive director of the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and a co-author of the study. “In fact, those who drank diet beverages lost more weight and reported feeling significantly less hungry than those who drank water alone.”
The 12-week clinical study of 303 participants is the first prospective, randomized clinical trial to directly compare the effects of water and diet beverages on weight loss within a behavioural weight loss program. Conducted simultaneously by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Center for Health and Wellness in Aurora and Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education in Philadelphia, the study shows that subjects who consumed diet beverages lost an average of 13 pounds – 44 percent more than the control group, which lost an average of nine pounds. More than half of the participants in the diet beverage group – 64 percent – lost at least five percent of their body weight, compared with only 43 percent of the control group. Losing just five percent of body weight has been shown to significantly improve health, including lowering the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Study participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: those who were allowed to drink diet beverages, such as diet sodas, teas and flavoured waters, or those who were in a control group that drank water only. With the exception of beverage options, both groups followed an identical diet and exercise program for the duration of the study.