Health Care

Diet soda doesn’t help kids cut calories

Diet soda doesn’t help kids cut calories”

Those drinking diet drinks consumed around 200 calories extra elsewhere in their diets and more added sugar in other food and drink.

While scientists remain unconvinced of the benefits of diet drinks in helping people lose weight, experts have tried to offer parents practical advice.

To find out more, Sylvetsky and her colleagues looked at dietary recalls collected from 7,026 children and teens enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 until 2016.

Sugar-free drinks often contain no calories, which could be key to their effect on the appetite.

Overall, those who drank low-calorie sweetened beverages consumed about the same number of calories as those who drank sugary beverages.

Washington:Children and teenagers who consume low-calorie sweetened beverages take in more calories on a given day compared with those who drink water, says a study. The participants reported everything that they ate and drank over a 24-hour period and the researchers zeroed in on reported consumption of sweetened beverages, especially those with low-calorie sweeteners and those with sugar.

No differences in calorie intake were observed between consumers of low-calorie sweetened beverages and sugary beverages.

'Our findings suggest that water should be recommended as the best choice for kids and teens'.

For the drinkers of diet soda, which normally contains few or no calories, these calorie counts consisted predominantly of food, while for the others, the counts included both calories from the soda and food.

But because the diet counterpart doesn't have any calories, they need to get those 139 calories, for example, from somewhere else.

Yet, despite the popularity, scientists still don't know for sure how sweeteners affect a child's total calorie intake over the course of the day.

Nearly a third of children in the USA are overweight, as well as around 30 per cent of 11-year-olds in the UK.

Sylvetsky said the findings are important because almost one in three kids in the USA is overweight or obese, increasing their risk of type 2 diabetes, heart problems, cancer and other health problems.

"These results challenge the utility of diet or low-calorie sweetened beverages when it comes to cutting calories and weight management", said Allison C. Sylvetsky, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise and nutrition sciences at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) and lead author of the study.

The debate around how bad diet sodas and low-calorie, artificially-sweetened beverages really are for you has been raging for years.

As a healthier alternative, Dr Sylvetsky suggests children be given sparkling water mixed with 100 per cent fruit juice and a handful of pieces of fresh fruit.

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