“Diet beverages have been shown to be an effective tool as part of an overall weight management plan. Numerous studies have repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of diet beverages – as well as low-calorie sweeteners, which are in thousands of foods and beverages – in helping to reduce calorie intake. Losing or maintaining weight comes down to balancing the total calories consumed with those burned through physical activity.”
On the Study:
• This paper looks at a single 24-hour dietary recall only, rather than total diet over time. It also fails to take into account physical activity levels.• This paper’s findings that overweight and obese adults consume diet beverages comes as no surprise; many trying to lose weight look for ways to reduce calories, including with their beverage choices.
On Low-Calorie Sweeteners and Diet Beverages:
• The CHOICE study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, confirms that diet beverages can be an important tool in helping reduce calories and directly counters the illogical assertion that drinking diet beverages causes people to eat more or to want sweet foods and beverages.• A paper published in Nutrition Bulletin also showed that “using foods and drinks sweetened with aspartame … is an effective way to maintain and lose weight without losing the palatability of the diet.”• A review in Nutrition Reviews that examined the role of low-calorie sweeteners and weight management found that “to date, prospective observational studies have revealed mixed results, and it appears that reverse causality is a particular problem, since individuals who are at high risk for weight gain may choose to consume artificially-sweetened beverages in an attempt to control their weight or reduce disease risk.”• A paper published in the International Journal of Obesity concluded that weight loss maintainers use a number of dietary strategies to accomplish their weight loss, including “increased consumption of artificially sweetened beverages.”• The position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “consumers can safely enjoy a range of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners when consumed within an eating plan that is guided by current federal nutrition recommendations, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes, as well as individual health goals and personal preference.”• The American Diabetes Association states: “foods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners are another option that may help curb your cravings for something sweet.”
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The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States. For more information on ABA, please visit the association’s Web site at www.ameribev.org or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.