Diet Soda vs. Water: A New Temple Study Puts Them Head-to-Head for Weight Loss

Experts at Temple University put the question to the test.

There’s been plenty of conjecture that diet beverages hinder weight loss, but Temple University is putting it to the test in a brand new study, asking, “Do diet drinks help or hurt when it comes to weight loss?”

Weight loss experts at the local university are pitting diet beverages against nature’s zero-calorie beverage, water, to see which is better for losing weight. They say that when comparing weight-loss programs of equal calorie intake, there should not be a difference between zero-calorie diet beverages and water—at least, academically.

In practice, it might not be as straight forward. In an interview with Action News, Gary Foster, director of Temple’s Center for Obesity Research and Education, suggests that the sweet flavors in some diet beverages may lead to further cravings of that sweet taste, which can cause diets to fall off track. That’s the hypothesis, anyway, and it’s what the current study, which is still underway, is exploring.

Here’s an early peek though: Study participant Valerie Branham-Wakefield has lost 14 pounds following Temple’s weight-loss program while—ready for it?—drinking diet beverages. Huh. Well, that certainly muddies the water. Now we really can’t wait for this study to wrap.

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