Don’t fall for this artificial research about artificial sweeteners
If you were scanning the news last week and saw headlines like “Diet soda works wonders for the waistline,” or “Diet soda drinkers lost more weight than water drinkers,” you might think it’s time to grab yourself a Diet Coke.
And that means you could have been a victim of Press-Release Medicine. Or in this case, the worst kind — industry-sponsored Press-Release Medicine.
A press release about a study — in this case a very suspicious one — gets sent out and bingo, the mainstream media circus picks it up. It’s official! It’s news! It’s true!
But before you even think about popping open a can, there are some important things you’ll want to know — things that didn’t make the airwaves on CNN or the front page of the LA Times.
It’s certainly logical to think that drinking something without any calories will help you lose weight.
But the science shows us that when those drinks are diet sodas, it’s just the opposite.
And probably because of that, diet soda sales are going down the drain.
If you’re the American Beverage Association, that’s a big problem. So guess what ABA did…
First, it gave an “unrestricted educational grant” to two universities. Then, surprise, surprise, those two universities came out with a “study” that, the press release says, “confirms definitively that drinking diet beverages helps people lose weight.”
Wow, that must have been one heck of an “educational grant.” Because to “confirm definitively” with a three-month study of 303 people is really amazing! Especially since so much research has come out with a definitively different conclusion.
The press release for this “research” also threw in lots of buzz words to help the perky blonde reporter sound like she really knows what she’s talking about.
Words like health, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. All those things that are helped by losing weight. And that’s what happens when you drink diet soda, right?
Well, that hasn’t been “definitively” decided yet. Here’s what other researchers have found:
- Research published last year out of Purdue University found that no-calorie sweeteners can cause you to actually overeat by throwing “off the body’s response mechanism.” You get a sweet taste, but no calories, and that can lead you to compensate by craving more sweets.
- A 2011 study by doctors from the University of Texas Health Science Center found that those who had two or more diet drinks a day had to loosen their belts — by a lot. Regularly drinking “diet,” the study found, gives you a 200 percent higher risk of packing on the pounds.
- In 2010, research called “the San Antonio Heart Study” looked at almost 4,000 adults, and found that those who drank diet beverages always had more body fat. And the more often they gulped down the fake stuff, the more extra fat they had.
The timing for this new “study,” the one that hit the news last week, couldn’t have been better — for Coke and Pepsi and other beverage companies, that is.
And let’s not forget the new kid on the block.
A few days ago I told you about a new fake sweetener the FDA has just approved called Advantame. It’s a super-high version of aspartame. And the Japanese company that makes it is gearing up to start dumping it in both diet and reduced-calorie foods and beverages.
So it sure looks like the American Beverage Association was getting us all ready to welcome Advantame.
And with a lot of help from their lemmings in the media.
“Study: Diet soda drinkers lost more weight than water drinkers” Mary Macvean, May 27, 2014, The Los Angeles Times, latimes.com
“Clinical trial reaffirms diet beverages play positive role in weight loss” Press release, University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, May 27, 2014, prnewswire.com