Diet Drinks Help Kids Gain Less Weight
Can diet drinks help prevent weight gain in children? To test this, researchers recruited 641 children from 4 to 11 years old who already consumed sweetened soft drinks regularly. They gave half of them sugary beverages each day while the rest received flavor-matched drinks with artificial sweeteners. Neither group knew whether its soft drink had sugar. At the end of the 18-month study, the kids who drank calorie-free beverages had gained 2.2 pounds less than the kids who drank sugar-sweetened beverages. Other studies suggest that sugar-sweetened beverages can add pounds because, as liquids, they don't satisfy hunger, leading to an overall uptick in calorie consumption.
Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, published online Oct. 11, 2012