Diet Drinks Weight Effects: Choosing Diet Pop Could Ruin Your Diet

glass of cola with ice and straw on green background
glass of cola with ice and straw on green background

A new study has some unfortunate news for people who drink diet pop and soda in an attempt to cut calories — it's just not working.

According to research out of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, often those who drink diet pop don't change anything else in their diet, so they continue to take in more calories than they need. The study found it's about twice as common for overweight or obese Americans to drink diet beverages as healthy-weight adults, reports.

Diet drinks have been touted as a "healthy option" for years by experts giving weight loss advice — including Johns Hopkins' Digestive Weight Loss Center — but this study could change that.

While it shouldn't be a surprise that just choosing a diet drink over a regular one won't make a significant difference in weight, it has been noted as one of the biggest mistakes people when when trying to shed pounds, according to Body and Soul, due to the potential for tooth decay. They've also been linked to osteoporosis, reports WebMD, as well as the body's insulin response.

And then, of course, there's the even scarier side of the artificial sweeteners that provide the taste in these drinks, with some health advocacy groups reporting links between these additives and cancer, though official agencies state there is no clear association between the two.

In Canada, the most recent statistics from 2008 show regular soft drinks are more popular than diet options, but there has not yet been a study correlating these results with weight.

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