Diet beverages could help people stick to their diets more effectively, according to a study that (surprise, surprise) the American Beverage Association backed.     Photo: Tony Alter/Flickr

Drink Diet Soda, Lose Weight?

New study says: Yep.

A new study soon to be published in the June issue of Obesity claims to have definitively proven that diet beverages do in fact help people lose weight. 

The study, simultaneously conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education, followed 303 participants on identical diet and exercise programs. The participants were divided into two groups: one that was allowed to drink diet beverages, such as diet sodas, teas and flavored waters, and one that drank only water.

Surprisingly, the diet soda group lost more weight—44 percent more, in fact. Not only did they lose more weight, the study claims, but they also showed improved cholesterol levels and reported feeling "significantly less hungry." Both groups saw reductions in overall weight and blood pressure.

"There's so much misinformation about diet beverages that isn't based on studies designed to test cause and effect, especially on the Internet," says study co-author and Anschutz chief strategy officer John C. Peters. "This research allows dieters to feel confident that low- and no-calorie sweetened beverages can play an important and helpful role as part of an effective and comprehensive weight-loss strategy."

This isn't the first time researchers have come to this conclusion. A 2013 study at the University of North Carolina came to a similar conclusion after a six-month trial, during which the diet-beverage group showed a greater likelihood of achieving meaningful weight loss.