“Sweet diet drinks ‘better than water’ to help you lose weight” screamed a headline in The Times. This is a ludicrous claim in my opinion. Obesity levels in the United Kingdom have more than trebled in the last 30 years and, on current estimates, more than half the population could be obese by 2050. The evidence is right in front of our eyes every time we leave the house. The streets are full of obese people waddling along yet articles like this are still being published.
In The Times on November 11 2015, it was claimed that studies have shown sweet-tasting diet drinks are better for weight lose than drinking water because they suppress the desire to consume sweet things. The University of Bristol found that sweet tasting diet drinks were more effective for weight loss than sugary drinks – this is pretty obvious if you ask me. Well done for pointing out the obvious; sugar laden drinks will naturally be worse for you than those which are made to taste sugary with sweeteners. In 2012 one experiment in the United States showed that obese people ate fewer desserts if they were given diet drinks rather than water, which could suggest that their sweet tooth might have been satisfied by the sweeteners in these drinks.
This is all well and good but I believe the people who write these articles and conduct these experiments are missing the underlying point surrounding the obesity crisis. By claiming that a more effective way to lose weight is to consume sweet diet drinks instead of water these people are merely perpetuating the crisis. Obese people will read these articles and believe that instead of increasing the amount of exercise they do, instead of cutting back on junk food or fizzy drinks they can merely drink sweet diet drinks to help them lose weight which will not have an effective impact in the long term.
I fundamentally disagree with the claim “Sweet diet drinks ‘better than water’ to help you lose weight”. Water is an appetite suppressant and drinking it before meals can make you feel fuller and therefore reduce your food intake. WebMD states that drinking water before meals results in an average reduction of 75 calories per meal; this translates into consuming 75,000 calories less per year if you drink water before just ONE meal a day. If you find water boring don’t turn to sugary drinks – instead place a slice of lemon in your water to give it added flavour without compromising on the healthy aspect of your drink.
Drinking more water has proven to be an effective tool in the battle against the bulge. So shed those kilos by consuming more water, not sweet diet drinks! Britain topped Europe’s obesity league in Western Europe in 2013. Hardly surprising if these are the sort of articles which get published in The Times.
 NHS website