Science and Tech


Industry-Funded Study Says Diet Soda Helps You Lose Weight

A new study explains why willpower might play into weight loss for diet soda drinkers.
Posted at 12:28 PM, May 27, 2014

Could all our dreams be coming true? Could diet soda not just be lighter in calories, but also help us actively lose weight? (Via Flickr / Marchin Wichary)

A new study says yes. Rejoice, Diet Coke addicts! Celebrate, DDP fans of today! Pop that top, listen to that hiss. (Via The Coca-Cola Company)

And drink in that delicious burn. Oh, wait. Stop. Stop. This might be complete garbage. (Via YouTube / Michelle Phan)

The study was funded by the American Beverage Association, which has partnerships with Coca-Cola and Pepsi and other companies. So, something to be aware of. (Via Time)

Still, it does seem to make sense. According to the findings, diet soda can help you lose weight because of your mindset more than your physical reaction to it.

Researchers took two groups of people and gave both groups education on losing weight. One group got to keep drinking diet soda, while the other had to go cold turkey and only drink water. (Via Flickr / Niall Kennedy)

The average participant in the water group lost 9 pounds in 12 weeks. The average participant from the diet soda group — 13 pounds. (Via Flickr / yonolatengo)

CNN explains the conclusion: "Cutting calories and boosting exercise takes a lot of willpower. Trying to simultaneously give up something else you regularly enjoy — such as diet soda — taxes your ability to stay the course."

Though CNN also quotes one members of the "water only" group who said she saw great benefits from getting off the diet soda — that she felt healthier and more energetic. 

And of course there are all the other studies we've seen — one about how diet soda might increase risk of heart disease made headlines in March. (Via CBS)

Another from last summer argued artificial sweeteners in diet sodas lead to metabolic confusion and actually make you gain weight. (Via The Huffington Post)

We'll turn to the Mayo Clinic for the bottom line here, and this article goes along with that old saying: Everything in moderation. 

"Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn't likely to hurt you. ... There's no credible evidence that [artificial sweeteners] cause cancer. ... But diet soda isn't a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss."

OK, well, still waiting on that silver bullet. Anybody? I'm just working on my fitness.