Some people who try to cut down on calories by drinking diet beverages could be negating their dieting efforts by eating more food, a new study suggests.
Researchers analyzed information from nearly 24,000 U.S. adults who reported the food and beverages they consumed in a 24-hour period as part of a survey.
Overweight and obese adults who drank diet beverages consumed about the same number of total calories in a day as overweight and obese adults who drank regular, sugar-sweetened beverages, the study found.
That's because the obese adults who drank diet beverages consumed nearly 200 calories more from food per day than obese adults who drank sugar-sweetened beverages. Most of this increase came from eating sweet snacks, the researchers said.
"With heavier adults increasingly switching to diet beverages, the focus on reducing [sugar-sweetened beverages] may be insufﬁcient for long-term weight-loss efforts," the researchers wrote in the Jan. 16 issue of the American Journal of Public Health . "Heavier adults who drink diet beverages will need to reduce their consumption of solid-food calories to lose weight," they said.