No evidence sugar-free soft drinks will help with weight loss
By switching to diet drinks many people feel, according to the new research, that this "virtuous act" allows them to reduce the amount of exercise they take or to eat greater quantities of food that is higher in fats or sugars. The head of the British Soft Drinks Association, Gavin Partington, told The Guardian that "scientific research shows that low-calorie sweeteners, such as those found in diet drinks, help consumers manage their weight as part of a calorie-controlled diet".
Anyone who's done Slimming World will know how that one can of Diet Coke can get you through a long, hard, chocolate-free day - but now some spoilsport has come along and put a dampener on your little treat.
"The lack of solid evidence on the health effects of ASBs and the potential influence of bias from industry funded studies should be taken seriously when discussing whether ASBs are adequate alternatives to SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages)", co-author Maria Carolina Borges from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil said.
But there is no evidence to support the claims they are any better for health, or prevent obesity and related diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
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No energy Full-sugar soft drinks account for a third of United Kingdom teens' sugar intake, the researchers say, and are a major cause of increasing rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Highlighting just how much sugar is in our favourite fizzy drinks, they named and shamed the sweetest soft drinks and Lucozade was the worst offender.
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"Far from helping to solve the global obesity crisis, artificially-sweetened beverages may be contributing to the problem and should not be promoted as part of a healthy diet", Millett said.
Sugar-sweetened beverages can provide many calories but only a few nutrients are actually delivered.
Manufacturing diet drinks was also said to have "negative consequences" for the environment.
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Artificial sweeteners could also interfere with the bacteria in our gut, which may trigger diabetes.
Naveed Sattar, professor of Metabolic Medicine at the University of Glasgow, claimed he did not agree with the suggestion that diet drinks were no better than sugary drinks in terms of body weight. Most people are thinking that by cutting off sugar from their drinks they can already trim down their weight.
But according to leading Professor Susan Jebb from Oxford University there was no reason to believe that replacing sugary drinks with artificially-sweetened alternatives did any harm.
The study also noted that research sponsored by the artificially-sweetened beverage (ASB) industry was "more likely to report favourable results and conclusions regarding ASB effects on weight control".
"It's worth bearing in mind that the United Kingdom soft drinks sector is the only category in which sugar intake is consistently falling year on year - over 17% since 2012".
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