Does Diet Soda Really Help with Weight Loss and Diabetes?
Posted by Caitlin Norton
It feels like every month, some new study is out about diet soda and low calorie sweeteners. The question is, does diet soda really help with weight loss and diabetes? There are plenty of quality studies out there showing how people have used diet soda and low calorie sweeteners as a tool for controlling weight and diabetes.
For instance, the results from two human clinical trials (which are used to show cause-and-effect relationships and are considered the gold-standard for quality research) show weight loss benefits of diet drinks.
Study Shows Diet Beverage Drinkers Averaged 13 Pound Weight Loss
In a 12-week study published in the journal Obesity, subjects who drank diet beverages lost, on average, 13 pounds, compared to 9 pounds lost among the water-only drinkers. The researchers also found that the diet beverage drinkers reported feeling less hungry, despite both groups following the same calorie-controlled diet regimen.
Study Finds Diet Soda Drinkers Lose More Than Five Percent of Body Weight Over Six Months
A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found subjects who drank diet soda or water were more than twice as likely to lose more than 5 percent of their body weight in a six-month study.
If diet soda and sweeteners really work, why are we still debating this?
The problem is that observational studies (which only show associations and can’t prove that diet beverages cause weight gain) have reported that people who drink diet beverages are more likely to be overweight. The truth, which obesity researchers continue to remind us of, is that people who are overweight use more “diet” foods and beverages to help them lose weight, compared to normal-weight individuals. Which means that they’re actively trying to lose weight and are using sweeteners to cut down on excess sugar in their diets.
Health experts realize this, but unfortunately, observational studies make for juicer news stories and click bait.
So, are diet soda and low calorie sweeteners really able to help with weight loss and diabetes?
The answer is yes, diet soda and low calorie sweeteners can help us cut calories in our diet, which when combined with exercise, leads to weight loss. They also help people with diabetes control the amount of sugar in their diet, while still allowing them to enjoy some of their favorite foods.