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Large Study Finds Link Between Diet Drinks And Junk-Food Consumption

September 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S.researcher who analyzed dietary data from 22,000 American adults found a link between regular drinking of diet beverages and consumption of high-calorie foods packed with sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol. More than 90 percent of the people in the study regularly ate “discretionary” foods that are energy-dense, nutrient-poor, and do not belong to major food groups. They include cookies, ice cream, chocolate, fries and pastries. Ruopeng An hypothesized that people who drink diet beverages may feel justified in eating more; or, to feel satisfied they feel compelled to eat more high-calorie discretionary foods. They also suggested a third possibility: people choose diet beverages because they feel guilty about indulging in unhealthy food.
Ruopeng An, "Beverage Consumption in Relation to Discretionary Food Intake and Diet Quality among U.S. Adults, 2003-2012. ", Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, September 11, 2015, © Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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