The Guardian
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Diet drinks don’t help you lose weight




*They contain chemical that boosts appetite, study finds
Diet drinks do not help people lose weight, a study has found, because they eat more to compensate.

Calorie-free drinks like Diet Coke and Sprite Zero increase someone’s hunger and desire to eat, according to scientists.

Volunteers given artificial sweeteners found in these drinks should have lost weight by avoiding the sugar packed into normal fizzy drinks.

But they simply made up the difference in calories at lunch, ensuring they stayed the same size.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity and first reported by DailyMailUK, were described as ‘surprising’ by the lead author, who gave people three different kinds of sweeteners, or sugar, before recording their food intake for the rest of the day.

Dr. Siew Ling Tey, of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore, said: “The energy “saved” from replacing sugar with non-nutritive sweetener was fully compensated for at subsequent meals in the current study, hence no difference in total daily energy intake was found between the four treatments.”

The research follows a recent study showing just two glasses of diet drinks a day could double someone’s risk of developing diabetes, with a team at Karolinska Institute in Sweden suggesting they may stimulate appetite, causing people to put on weight.

The latest experiment looked at aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in Diet Coke and Coke Zero Sugar, and stevia, found in celebrity-backed health drinks like glacéau vitaminwater. It compared them with monk fruit extract and with conventional sugar, found in full-calorie fizzy drinks.

In only the second study to investigate the effect of artificial sweeteners and sugar on food intake, 30 men picked at random were given 500ml drinks containing each ingredient, then allowed to eat as much fried rice for lunch as they wanted. Those given the diet drinks ate up to 80 calories more at lunchtime, the study found, with those given aspartame consuming the most during the day.

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