Good news: a new study conducted via science has shown that that Diet Coke and other similar artificially flavored and colored bubbly beverages can actually help people lose weight! Bad news: the study was completely and 100% funded by soda manufacturers. In comparable 1967 news: new study by Malboro shows that smoking makes you cool as hell and definitely not dead.
CBS reports that the (probably bullshit) study was conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, Colorado. Participants were divided into groups, each of which were given different directives on what they must eat or drink over the course of 12 weeks. And — SURPRISE! — the group that was told to drink diet soda or other artificially sweetened soft drinks lost hella weight.
One half of the group was asked to drink at least 24 ounces of diet drinks per day, along with as much water as they wanted. People in the water group could drink 24 ounces of water each day but no soda; they were permitted to consume food products containing sugar substitutes, such as yogurt, gum, candy and ice cream, but could not add artificial sweeteners like Splenda or Equal to their coffee or tea.
So one group was told that they must drink 24 ounces of diet drinks and as much water as they wanted, whereas the other was told they were allowed to drink 24 ounces of water per day if they wanted. One group was basically filling the fuck up on beverages, and the other was allowed to eat pretty much the way I eat every day (black coffee, alcohol, and tacos) without first filling their stomachs with liquids. But that's not all, says the study, which should probably be called Soda's Great, Says Soda.
The researchers also found people in the diet soda group reported feeling less hungry and showed improvements in serum levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins, or "bad" cholesterol. They also had a significant reduction in serum triglycerides. Both groups saw a reduction in waist circumference and blood pressure.
Less hungry because, again, they were drinking at least 24 ounces of soda per day. That's almost a Big Gulp. The human stomach can hold slightly more than twice that amount of soda at one time. That is half a stomach worth of liquid.
I'd be a little less skeptical of this (and 24-year-old me would have loved it if Diet Pepper were actually something that promoted overall health) if the people in the non-diet soda group were required to drink the same amount of water as the soft drink group was required to consume in soft drinks. Or if the study wasn't sponsored by soft drink manufacturers. Or if other investigations into the dietary benefits or drawbacks of artificially sweetened beverages hadn't concluded the opposite of what this study found — that diet soda consumption is actually pretty bad for you.
Of course, none of this changes the fact that Diet Coke tastes effing spectacular with some takeout Chinese.