Research has found that drinking diet soda doesn’t help soda lovers lose weight, but rather increases sugar cravings, putting people at risk to pack on more pounds. However, the soda industry backed a study that found that diet soda drinkers lost unwanted weight more quickly than those who gave up the sugary poison.

Funded by the American Beverage Association broke participants into two groups: one who drank diet soda and one who drank no soda, while both groups received intensive coaching. The small study found that those who continued to drink diet soda lost 13 pounds, while their counterparts lost nine pounds over the course of 12 weeks.

The researchers believed this was a result of the diet soda drinkers not needing to satisfy their sweet tooth because they had their fix of artificial sweeteners.

“The most likely explanation was that having access to drinks with sweet taste helps the [artificially-sweetened beverage] group to adhere better to the behavioral change program,” concluded study author Dr. Jim Hill of the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.

But if you could control your cravings, is it worth the negative health outcomes from artificial sweeteners? Artificial sweeteners cause headaches, insomnia, throw off the metabolism, and type 2 diabetes. Your best bet is to drink more water, adding seltzer if you crave carbonation.

Health experts believe that this study only looked at the short-term effects, so longer research would need to be conducted to add validity to the argument.

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