Fans of the soft drink Diet Coke may think they’re doing their waistlines a favour by opting for the diet-version, but new research, published in Pediatric Obesity found that people who drink low-calorie drinks consume around 200 extra calories a day than those who drink water – and can actually lead to weight gain.
Diet drinks are promoted as a healthier alternative to traditional soft drinks, which can contain up to nine teaspoons of sugar, and instead use artificial sweeteners to satisfy your taste buds, minus the calories.
In the study, the researchers looked at the diets of 7,026 children and teens from 2011 until 2016 and the analysis revealed that participants who drank diet soft drinks consumed around 196 extra calories a day than water-drinkers, while those who consumed regular soft drink consumed an average of 312 extra calories per day.
Researchers noted that those who consumed diet soft drinks routinely also consumed more added sugars in their diet.
Dr Allison Sylvetsky, who led the study, said: “These results challenge the utility of diet or low-calorie sweetened beverages when it comes to cutting calories and weight management."
“Our findings suggest that water should be recommended as the best choice for kids and teens.”
Adults should probably take this advice too.