Is drinking soda, especially diet soda good for cutting extra pounds. Dr. Jim Hill says he often faces such queries from patients in his weight loss program at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.
For the study, Hill involved approximately 300 adults and divided them into two groups:
- One group that continued drinking diet
- Second group-referred as the water group- went cold turkey
Both groups received intensive coaching on successful techniques for weight loss. The average weight of the participants was over 200 pounds at the start of the study.
“The results, to us, were not at all surprising,” says Hill.
The groups banned from drinking diet sodas managed to lose nine pounds over 12 weeks, those allowed to continue drinking diet soda lost, on average, 13 pounds in the same time period. That’s a 4-pound difference.
Experts say soda and other sugary drinks are the number-one source of added sugar in the American diet.
On an average American consumes 45 gallons of soft drinks in a year. More than a third of all U.S. adults and nearly 17 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A 2012 report in the Journal of Health Economics shows that obesity accounts for nearly $200 billion a year in U.S. medical spending which is more than 20 percent of national healthcare costs.
Also consuming just one soda a day boosts an adult’s probability of being obese by 27 percent and a child’s by 55 percent, while a soda or two a day increases the risk of diabetes by 26 percent.
The study, funded by the American Beverage Association, was published in the journal Obesity.