A study funded by the American Beverage Association concluded that drinking diet beverages instead of water can help dieters lose more weight.
The authors of the study — two of whom have “received consulting fees from the Coca-Cola Company outside of the submitted work” — concluded that participants in the study who drank diet sodas lost “significantly more weight compared to the water group,” and also “reported significantly greater reductions in subjective feelings of hunger than those in the water group.”
Such findings fly in the face of previous studies, one of which concluded that those who drank diet sodas consumed significantly more calories from solid foods, and another that demonstrated that artificial sweeteners create a “cognitive distortion” that compels people to eat more.
The American Beverage Association criticized that second study, saying that it was “an opinion piece not a scientific study. Low-calorie sweeteners are some of the most studied and reviewed ingredients in the food supply today. They are a safe and an effective tool in weight loss and weight management, according to decades of scientific research and regulatory agencies around the globe.”
The study funded by the Association backs that up, concluding that diet sodas make it easier for people to remain on their diets, as they are not depriving themselves of the diet sodas they are accustomed to drinking. This conclusion, however, points to one potential problem with the study, according to ThinkProgress’ Tara Culp-Ressler.
“And the participants in the study were already regular diet soda drinkers, so it makes sense they may have struggled to cut out those beverages in addition to other dietary restrictions,” she wrote.
[“A young men drinking soda from a plastic bottle isolated over white background” on Shutterstock]