Cityvisitor blog

Diet drinks may be just as bad…

I don’t always welcome ‘latest reports’ into what we should and shouldn’t be drinking and eating, but I have to admit, a recent study into diet drinks was very interesting.

I have been asking the question for years – why, when we are told how bad sugary fizzy drinks are for us, do they (whoever they are) never advise us to take the diet/sugar free ones instead.

As a reasonably health conscious consumer, I have always bought sugar free drinks, thinking they were a much healthier option.

So research by Imperial College London comes as a huge and very interesting surprise.

Academics from the college and two Brazilian universities conclude that sugar-free drinks may be no better for preventing weight gain than full sugar options and may also be bad for the environment.

The report explains: “Despite having no or very little energy content, there is a concern that artificially-sweetened beverages (ASBs) might trigger compensatory food intake by stimulating sweet taste receptors. This, together with the consumers’ awareness of the low-calorie content of ASBs, may result in overconsumption of other foods, thus contributing to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related health problems.”

Also their effect on the environment is caused by the fact that up to 300 litres of water is required to produce a 0.5 L plastic bottle of carbonated soft drink.

The authors of the report concluded: “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.”

This has certainly given me food for thought (excuse the pun).


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