If you drink diet soda as a means to cut your calories and control your weight, it is likely failing you. In a report published by researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, overweight adults who drink diet soda consume more food calories and snack more than overweight adults that drink sugary beverages. To make this determination, the researchers used data from the 1999–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES is an on-going study that carefully monitors the diet and health of a large representative sample of the US population.
Past studies have suggested that artificial sweeteners disrupt the brain-based circuits involved in weight control, ultimately driving appetite and increased food intake, which may explain the study’s findings. My take is that for optimal health and weight control, ditch both diet and regular soda and drink water instead. Your hunter-gatherer ancestors did this for thousands of years so I know you can do it too!
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(American journal of Public Health, January 2014)