Tuesday, May 27, 2014

UPDATE: Diet soda works wonders for the waistline

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 10:22 AM

click to enlarge Drink up, just make sure it's diet soda. - ROBIN CORPS
  • Robin Corps
  • Drink up, just make sure it's diet soda.
UPDATE: This just in. The study about diet soda as a weight loss strategy was completely funded by the soda industry, says Elizabeth Granger, who fielded questions on behalf of the researchers.

"While the study was industry-funded," she tells us in an email, "it was peer-reviewed and posted on www.clinicaltrials.gov. Neither ABA, nor any of its members, was involved in any part of the study setup, its analysis or the writing of the paper."

——-ORIGINAL POST 10:22 A.M., TUES., MAY 27, 2014———-
You've heard it both ways: Drinking diet soda is a good way to avoid calories. Drinking diet soda won't keep the pounds off.

Well, now, you can confidently fill up your super jumbo mega soda cup with diet soda and know you're helping yourself lose weight, according to a new study set for publication in the June issue of Obesity, the journal of The Obesity Society. (Who knew an entire society was dedicated to the study of being grossly overweight?)

“This study clearly demonstrates diet beverages can in fact help people lose weight, directly countering myths in recent years that suggest the opposite effect – weight gain,” James O. Hill, Ph.D., executive director of the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, and a co-author of the study, said in a news release. “In fact, those who drank diet beverages lost more weight and reported feeling significantly less hungry than those who drank water alone. This reinforces if you’re trying to shed pounds, you can enjoy diet beverages.”

More from the release:
The 12-week clinical study of 303 participants is the first prospective, randomized clinical trial to directly compare the effects of water and diet beverages on weight loss within a behavioral weight loss program. Conducted simultaneously by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, Colorado and Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education in Philadelphia, the study shows subjects who consumed diet beverages lost an average of 13 pounds – 44 percent more than the control group, which lost an average of 9 pounds. More than half of the participants in the diet beverage group —64 percent — lost at least five percent of their body weight, compared with only 43 percent of the control group. Losing just five percent of body weight has been shown to significantly improve health, including lowering the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

“There’s so much misinformation about diet beverages that isn’t based on studies designed to test cause and effect, especially on the internet,” said John C. Peters, co-author of the study and the chief strategy officer of the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. “This research allows dieters to feel confident that low- and no-calorie sweetened beverages can play an important and helpful role as part of an effective and comprehensive weight loss strategy.”

Study participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: those who were allowed to drink diet beverages, such as diet sodas, teas and flavored waters, or those who were in a control group that drank water only. With the exception of beverage options, both groups followed an identical diet and exercise program for the duration of the study.

In addition to losing 44 percent more weight than the control group, the diet beverage group also:

Reported feeling significantly less hungry;
Showed significantly greater improvements in serum levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) — the so-called “bad” cholesterol; and
Saw a significant reduction in serum triglycerides.

Both diet soda and water groups saw reductions in waist circumference, and blood pressure.

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