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A new US study claims to have countered the “myth” that diet beverages cause weight gain.

Health groups have blamed beverages for rising obesity rates

Health groups have blamed beverages for rising obesity rates

The research, published today (27 May) in Obesity, the journal of The Obesity Society, found that those who drank diet beverages lost more weight than those who drank water alone. Diet beverage drinkers also felt “significantly less hungry”, said the report, which was funded by the American Beverage Association.

“This study clearly demonstrates that diet beverages can in fact help people lose weight, directly countering myths in recent years that suggest the opposite effect - weight gain,” said James Hill, executive director of the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Centre and a co-author of the study.

The report is the result of a 12-week clinical study of 303 participants carried out simultaneously by the University of Colorado and Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education in Philadelphia. Subjects who consumed diet beverages lost an average of 13 pounds (6kg) - 44% more than the control group.

Some health groups have blamed the beverage industry for fuelling rising rates of obesity around the world. In December, an analyst said that soft drinks producers must increase their efforts to promote low-calorie options to avoid a “rising tide” of global anti-obesity taxation.


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