Diet Soda Drinkers End Up Consuming More Calories: Study - Michelle Castillo

 – January 16, 2014  –– 

A new study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that overweight and obese adults who drank diet beverages took in more food calories on average than their counterparts who drank the sugary stuff. Researchers looked at information from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is a population-based survey that looks at the health and nutrition of U.S. adults. They looked particularly at diet beverage consumption, caloric intake and body weight.  Overall, diet soda consumption rates increased 17 percent from 1965 to today. Currently, about 20 percent of U.S. adults drink diet beverages. Chris Ochner, PhD, an assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York who was not involved in the study, disagrees that artificial sweeteners are squarely to blame.  “Diet soda is not making people fat,” Ochner, who researches obesity prevention and treatment, said to CBS News. “Eating too many calories is making too many people fat.”  Ochner said our bodies adjust to the levels of calories that we are accustomed to eating. For example, if a person is starved for five days,  certain processes kick in -- including metabolism slowing and brain chemistry changes that make calorie-dense foods look more appealing -- in order to help the person survive.

-Dr. Christopher Ochner, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
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