Thursday, September 17, 2009

Artificial sweeteners help keep it off.

Not exactly a surprising result, but likely one that will be poo-poo'd by all those who love to vilify artificial sweeteners.

Researchers in New Zealand studied folks who had successfully lost weight and their dietary consumption patterns. More specifically they looked at folks who had maintained a weight loss of greater than 10% of their weight for 11.5 years and they compared these folks' dietary strategies to folks of similar weights who had never been overweight.

What unshocking yet valuable results did they find?

They found that folks who lost the weight had to work harder at their dietary strategies to help keep that weight off than folks who never had weight to lose. Their strategies included consuming fewer calories from fat (though the importance of this one's debatable as the 90s were the low-fat decade and more recent data from the National Weight Control Registry suggest that low-calorie is of course more important than low-fat and can be accomplished many different ways), consuming more of sugar and fat modified foods (reduced fat, reduced sugar), consuming more water, less pop and three times more daily servings of artificially sweetened soft drinks.

Go figure - folks who are predisposed to weight gain can help themselves keep the weight off by employing dietary strategies to help themselves consume fewer calories.

Go ahead, drink your diet Coke.

Phelan, S., Lang, W., Jordan, D., & Wing, R. (2009). Use of artificial sweeteners and fat-modified foods in weight loss maintainers and always-normal weight individuals International Journal of Obesity DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2009.147

Bookmark and Share


  1. Anonymous12:40 pm

    Like I always say, All Things in Moderation! Yes, the occassional Diet soft drink will help you keep calories down, if you chose the diet one instead of the full sugared one. But I wouldn't recommend that you drint them too often. Better to just drink water most times.

  2. Anonymous3:50 pm

    Thank goodness. Diet pepsi is delicious.

  3. As much as I now love to vilify artificial sweeteners, until the last few years I was a Diet Coke addict. Diet soda, generally, was what I turned to while I lost 40 lbs. in 1991 - gave me the taste of something sweet w/o the calories. I've kept that weight off, but now I try to avoid the aspartame/splenda. Once in a while, I do indulge in a DC from the fountain - my favorite way.

  4. Anonymous9:11 am

    ... except that the aspartame in diet soda will kill you.

  5. Losing weight is not the same as gaining health, in most cases. Artificial anything is not going to build health long term.

  6. Eh. I'd rather have to spend an extra 20 minutes in the gym per session than have to ingest aspartame, both because it gives me blinding headaches and because it tastes like boiled butt.

  7. All sweetener vs. sugar aside. Why can't people with weight issues just reach for water when reaching for the pop. SOOOOOOOOOOOO SIMPLE! Having lost 80lbs myself, I am aware of the struggles. But the body desperately needs water for every function it executes (including the metabolizing of fuel). Find all the studies you want about the "goodness" of sweeteners, but choosing pop of water is plain and simply a WRONG choice for the health of someone's body, period.