What we drink has a major impact on our overall health, and it's a sticking point for many people trying to clean up their diet. As a first step, many people opt for diet sodas over their favorite canned beverage. It's diet, so it might be better, right? Not so fast, says a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Drinking diet drinks can actually lead to more frequent and less healthy snacking habits.
Researchers analyzed surveys from 24,000 U.S adults who reported what they ate and drank over 24 hours. They found that overweight and obese people who chose diet drinks consumed the same number of calories as overweight and obese people who drank non-diet drinks. Why? The overweight and obese people drinking diet drinks consumed 200 calories more from food.
"With heavier adults increasingly switching to diet beverages, the focus on reducing [sugar-sweetened beverages] may be insufficient for long-term weight loss efforts," said researchers. "Heavier adults who drink diet beverages will need to reduce their consumption of solid-food calories to lose weight."