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Diet Soda Linked To Overeating
Diet soda's weight-loss-friendly lack of calories has been exposed as kind of a hoax. New research from Johns Hopkins University shows that heavy people using diet soda as a weight-loss tool actually wind up eating more food. Kind of defeats the purpose of drinking diet soda in the first place, doesn't it?
This is the first study to look at national patterns of diet beverage drinking and calorie intake by body weight. To discover the major findings of this study published in the American Journal of Public Health, Rodale News spoke to the lead author Sara Bleich, PhD, associate professor with the Bloomberg School's department of health policy and management. Here's what she pointed out:
Major takeaway #1:About 1 in 5 overweight or obese adults consume diet soda (about twice as many as healthy-weight adults).
Major takeaway #2:Overweight and obese adults who drink diet beverages eat an amount of total calories comparable to what heavier adults who drink sugary drinks do, but they then go on to consume significantly more calories from solid food at both meals and snacks.
Major takeaway #3:When adults replace sugary beverages with diet beverages, they do not appear to make other changes to their diet.
It appears there's something metabolic at play. "Available evidence suggests that artificial sweeteners, which are present in high doses in diet beverages, are associated with a greater activation of reward centers in the brain which alter the reward a person experiences from sweet tastes," Dr. Bleich explains. "Another way of thinking about this is that for diet-beverage drinkers, the brain's sweet sensors may no longer provide a reliable gauge of energy consumption."
As a result, drinking diet soda could result in cravings and eating more food because the artificial sweetener disrupts appetite control, she explains.
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