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Diet soda as a weight-loss aid? Maybe not

Diet Cokes in an ice chest at a

Diet Cokes in an ice chest at a Hallandale, Fla. park. A new study out July 11, 2013, from Purdue University shows that these popular drinks may not be the solution in the fight against obesity and other health problems after all. (April 27, 2010) (Credit: AP)

Diet sodas and other noncaloric, sweetened drinks are go-to options for 30 percent of health conscious consumers in the United States.

But a new study out of Purdue University shows that these popular drinks may not be the solution in the fight against obesity and other health problems.

“Although it seems like common sense that diet sodas would not be problematic, that doesn't appear to be the case,” says Susan Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences and a behavioral neuroscientist for Purdue University. “Findings from a variety of studies show that routine consumption of diet sodas, even one per day, can be connected to higher likelihood of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure, in addition to contributing to weight gain.”

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Swithers’ research asserts that aside from increasing the risk of disease, products sweetened through the use of “high-intensity sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin” may actually promote added caloric intake and increases the likelihood of weight gain and higher body weight.

“The concern that these noncaloric sweeteners might not be healthy is a message that many people do not want to hear, especially as the prevalence of artificial sweeteners increases in other products,” Swithers says.

The American Beverage Association has fired back to Swithers’ research. According to the ABA’s website: “This is an opinion piece not a scientific study. Low-calorie sweeteners are some of the most studied and reviewed ingredients in the food supply today. They are safe and an effective tool in weight loss and weight management, according to decades of scientific research and regulatory agencies around the globe.”

What do you think about the use of these noncaloric sweeteners in diet drinks? Let us know in the comments field below.

Tags: Meghan Glynn , diet , diet soda , aspartame , sweetener , sucralose , saccharin , soda , weight , weight loss , weight gain , calories

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