This is according to a bizarre new Coca-Cola-funded study. Here we go again.
We’ve reported frequently on the subversion of science at the hands of industry, but this one takes the cake.
A new obesity study led by Prof. Peter Rogers, PhD, of the University of Bristol, arrives at the following conclusion: “Overall, the balance of evidence indicates that use of [low-energy sweeteners] in place of sugar, in children and adults, leads to reduced [energy intake]and [body weight], and possibly also when compared with water.” Translation: diet soda is better for controlling your weight than water!
Liar, liar, pants on fire. In point of fact, the aspartame in Diet Coke actually contributes to weight gain—particularly ironic for a “diet” product!
What’s even more interesting, but not surprising, is that the study was backed by Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The group behind the study, the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), even has representatives of both beverage giants on its Eating Behaviour and Energy Balance Task Force.
The conflict of interest might explain why Prof. Rogers and the other authors selected the one paper (out of 5,500 that were reviewed) that supported the idea that diet soda was better than water at controlling weight and energy intake. That paper, by the way, was funded by the American Beverage Association.
If the term “energy balance” sounds familiar, it is because Coca-Cola was recently embarrassed when one of its executives was forced to step down after emails showed the company was behind an “independent” nonprofit group called the Global Energy Balance Network, a group that promoted the notion that lack of exercise, not bad diet, is primarily responsible for the obesity epidemic.
As we’ve reported previously, research not funded by beverage companies has found that artificial sweeteners contribute to diabetes and that diet sodas are linked to increased risk of stroke. Diet Coke has the following ingredients:
- caramel color E150d, which contains carcinogens;
- caffeine, which is fine in limited amounts but in higher amounts can increase blood pressure, reduce control of fine motor movements, increase cortisol secretion, cause anxiety, and accelerate bone loss in postmenopausal women;
- phosphoric acid, which inhibits the body’s ability to use calcium, leading to osteoporosis; and
- the artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame-K. As noted in our article on artificial sweeteners, aspartame can turn to formaldehyde at high temperatures.
A study presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology found that women who drink diet sodas are much more likely develop heart disease and even die than other women. Women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were 30% more likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular “event,” and were 50% more likely to die than women who rarely drink diet sodas.
Shame on those involved in this for thinking that their manufactured, aspartame-filled beverages can improve upon water—the essence of life!