Diet drinks are a popular choice for many who want to maintain their weight or lose a few pounds. But are these drinks truly aiding in weight control?
Scientists from Johns Hopkins University have been looking into this question, particularly focusing on overweight and obese adults. Their findings are somewhat surprising and bring up new questions about diet drinks.
What the Study Found
The research team, led by Dr. Sara N. Bleich, studied nearly 24,000 adults to understand how diet drinks impact calorie intake.
They found that while about 10% of healthy-weight adults drank diet beverages, the number doubled to 20% among overweight and obese adults.
Interestingly, adults with a healthy weight who drank diet drinks actually consumed fewer calories overall compared to those who drank regular sugary drinks.
However, the scenario was quite different for adults who were overweight or obese.
Diet Drinks and Snacking Habits
Despite consuming diet drinks, overweight and obese adults ended up having a similar total calorie intake as those who drank regular or sugary drinks.
This was because these adults compensated by eating more solid food, especially snacks.
When the researchers looked closely at the food intake, they found that overweight or obese adults consuming diet drinks ate significantly more daily calories from salty and sweet snacks than their counterparts who consumed regular sugary drinks.
These findings suggest that if overweight and obese adults want to lose or maintain their weight, they might need to reassess their diet beyond just swapping sugary drinks for diet ones.
Diet drinks might not be the magical solution for weight control as they appear, particularly for heavier adults. They might need to pay closer attention to the rest of their diet, especially their snacking habits.
Future Research Directions
The findings open up new avenues for future research. One possible study could be to examine whether diet drinks indeed help adults with a healthy weight maintain their weight.
This could provide a more comprehensive picture of how diet drinks affect different populations.
In summary, weight control is a complex process and requires a comprehensive approach that goes beyond the choice of beverages.
Whether you choose diet drinks or sugary beverages, it’s important to be mindful of the overall diet, especially the intake of solid foods.
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