Diet Drinks No Guarantee Against Obesity

1/31/2017 3:38:59 PM
written By : Team India Se Print

Sugar-free and “diet” drinks may be as likely to cause obesity as full-sugar drinks. So say researchers from Imperial College London and two Brazilian universities (University of Sao Paulo and Federal University of Pelotas). 

Artificially-sweetened beverages (ASBs), which contain no sugar, are often known as “diet” versions of soft drinks. However, there is no solid evidence to show they are healthier or prevent obesity and obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, said Professor Christopher Millett, senior investigator from Imperial’s School of Public Health.

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) such as soft drinks, fruit-flavoured drinks, and sports drinks, provide many calories but very few essential nutrients, and their consumption is a major cause of increasing rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

ASBs currently comprise a quarter of the global sweetened beverages market. There is concern that ASBs might trigger compensatory food intake by stimulating sweet taste receptors and thus lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related health problems.

In addition, the production of ASBs has negative consequences for the environment, with up to 300 litres of water required to produce a 0.5-litre plastic bottle of carbonated soft drink.

Dinking plain water is best, said the researchers. Far from helping to solve the global obesity crisis, ASBs may be contributing to the problem and should not be promoted as part of a healthy diet, they added. 

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