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If you're trying to eat healthier this year, chances are you will consider switching certain parts of your diet to a sugar-free alternative. Swapping something you would usually eat or drink for the diet alternative often seems like a good way to consume the things you like without the extra sugar.
However, researchers have found that overweight adults who drink diet fizzy drinks instead of the full-sugar alternative actually end up consuming more calories through food. This means that diet drinks aren't necessarily the best option for those that are trying to lose weight.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, US, looked at patterns in the adult consumption of diet drinks on a national scale. They found that adults who are overweight or obese actually end up eating more calories when compared to obese or overweight adults that continued to drink regular, sugary versions.
It was found that drinking diet fizzy drinks resulted in the adults eating far more calories than even healthy adults that drink sugary drinks, both at meals and snacks, said Dr Sarah Belich, associate professor at Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management. This ultimately means that you can end up counterbalancing any reduction in your calorie intake that diet fizzy drinks have created.
The study included 23,965 adults, all of whom took part in the 1999-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This allowed the researchers to access information on calorie intake and diet drink consumption. It was found that 11 per cent of those at a healthy weight drink diet versions of fizzy drinks, as well as 19 per cent of overweight and 22 per cent of obese adults.
While more people that are overweight or obese were found to consume diet drinks, they also tended to eat a higher amount of calories through their meals and snacks. The researchers suggest that making a change from sugary drinks to diet versions is not enough to help you lose weight.
Those that are looking to maintain a healthy diet or to lose weight should ensure that their food is also low calorie, along with their drinks to see the best results.