Diet Coke Ousts Diet

Sweeteners still add up

Boy drinking water

Boy drinking water

A study from Pediatric Obesity shows kids and teens who consume low-calorie sweetened beverages like diet coke take in more calories compared to those who drink water.

In the study of more than 7,000 kids the children and teens who consumed low-calorie or zero-calorie sweetened beverages, researchers found that kids took in about 200 extra calories on a given day compared to those who drank water and about the same number of calories as youth who consumed sugary beverages.

“Our findings suggest that water should be recommended as the best choice for kids and teens,” said Allison C. Sylvetsky, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise and nutrition sciences at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Read: Which Sweetener Is Healthier?

A 2017 study by Sylvetsky and her colleagues found children and teens frequently consume low-calorie sweeteners, not only in diet sodas but also in a variety of reduced calorie juice and sports drinks as well as food and snack items.

The study found the consumption of low-calorie sweeteners jumped by 200% in children and teens from 1999 to 2012. Yet despite the rise in their popularity, we still have no proof how these sweeteners affect total energy intake or if they are helpful for weight management as they intended to be. This study results “challenge the utility of diet or low-calorie sweetened beverages when it comes to cutting calories and weight management,” the researcher said.

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Almost one in three kids in the United States is now overweight or has obesity, which puts them at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other serious health conditions, and diet coke does not help at all.

References Allison C. Sylvetsky, Janet Figueroa, Talia Zimmerman, Susan E. Swithers, Jean A. Welsh. Consumption of low‚Äźcalorie sweetened beverages is associated with higher total energy and sugar intake among children, NHANES 2011–2016. Pediatric Obesity, 2019; e12535 DOI: 10.1111/ijpo.12535.
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