Jun 05, 2014

boy drinking soda from bottle on shutterstockA study funded by none other than the companies who make sodas themselves is somehow coming to the “conclusion” that drinking diet sodas instead of water can help dieters lose more weight.

The authors of the study — two of whom have “received consulting fees from the Coca-Cola Company outside of the submitted work” — concluded that participants in the study who drank diet sodas lost “significantly more weight compared to the water group,” and also “reported significantly greater reductions in subjective feelings of hunger than those in the water group.”

Such findings fly in the face of previous studies, one of which concluded that those who drank diet sodas consumed significantly more calories from solid foods, and another that demonstrated that artificial sweeteners create a “cognitive distortion” that compels people to eat more.

The American Beverage Association criticized that second study, saying that it was “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 a safe and an effective tool in weight loss and weight management, according to decades of scientific research and regulatory agencies around the globe.”

The study funded by the Association backs that up, concluding that diet sodas make it easier for people to remain on their diets, as they are not depriving themselves of the diet sodas they are accustomed to drinking. This conclusion, however, points to one potential problem with the study, according to ThinkProgress’ Tara Culp-Ressler.

“And the participants in the study were already regular diet soda drinkers, so it makes sense they may have struggled to cut out those beverages in addition to other dietary restrictions,” she wrote.

I’m not surprised but still appalled at the fact that online health resources are actually carrying this story and acting as if it’s true. According to Dr. Mercola, a physician who specializes in alternative health and wellness:

The belief that artificially sweetened foods and beverages will help you lose weight is a carefully orchestrated deception. So if you are still opting for “diet” choices for this reason, you are being sorely misled. Ditto for diabetics, as recent research has shown aspartame also worsens insulin sensitivity.

The fact that these are still being promoted as “diet” flies in the face of any rational behavior. One wonders why the FTC doesn’t come down like a ton of bricks on these companies for massively fraudulent marketing.

I have a grandparent who still drinks diet sodas, and it almost makes me want to cry when I see them filling up their plastic cups with it at fast-food restaurants, because I know that with each sip, they are killing more of their brain cells, which means that dementia will probably follow at some point down the line. When that happens, my son will no longer be able to glean any kind of wisdom from his great-grandparent, because aspartame has destroyed her brain.

I sincerely hope that no one actually buys into this “aspartame better than water” nonsense, and that those who have been drinking this stuff come to terms with the fact that aspartame was legalized solely for the purpose of destroying brain function in those who wish to lose weight.