Study Indicates Drinkers of Diet Beverages Snack on Unhealthy Foods

Published By : 14 Sep 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Consumers under the impression that choosing a diet beverages over regular drinks is the right thing, go on to erase the good by snacking on sugar, sodium, and goodies high in carbohydrates such as ice cream, cookies, pastries, and fries, a new study has found. 

Assistant professor at the department of kinesiology and community health at University of Illinois Ruopeng An, together with a team of colleagues, have published their study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Participants of the study were asked to remember everything that they drank or ate during the 2 straight days of the study. A previous study only focused on what the participants drank and ate. However, this study focuses on the nutritional values of the beverages and foods. 

Approximately 21 per cent of the calories consumed in the United States comes from beverages such as tea, coffee, fruit juice, alcohol, fruit drinks, milk, and sodas

Ruopeng An found that there is a category of foods called “discretionary”, which constitutes ice cream, cookies, pastries, and fries. These foods are consumed in larger proportions by those who opt for a diet version of a beverage, compared to those who choose the non diet drink. This includes alcohol as well as sugar sweetened drinks. 

Moreover, obese adults part of the study group who chose a diet beverage eventually went on to consume even more calories in the category of discretionary foods, compared to participants of normal weight who chose sugary drinks. 

This habit or pattern is described by An as a compensation effect. People who chose diet drinks may feel justified in consuming more discretionary foods, because of which they reach for a bag of chips or a muffin. In order to feel satisfied, they may perhaps feel the need to eat greater amounts of high calorific foods

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