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letters | with health studies cited, another look at diet sodas

Diet soda, low-calorie sweeteners have earned their wide approval

Your readers deserve to know the facts about diet soda that the recent opinion piece published in your paper chose to ignore (“Hooked on diet soda,” Op-ed, Aug. 11).

Nathaniel P. Morris’s claim that diet soda, which is 99 percent water, contributes to weight gain fails to be based on scientific evidence, let alone common sense.

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In fact, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that there is no link between the consumption of diet beverages and increased preferences for sweetened foods and beverages.

Further, overall, the
control group that consumed diet beverages reduced their total calorie intake from
other foods and beverages the most.

Morris failed to include a number of studies that support the fact that low-calorie sweeteners are safe and can be beneficial in weight loss and weight management. This position is supported by health organizations including the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Despite Internet myths, low-calorie sweeteners have been approved by regulatory agencies around the world, including the World Health Organization, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the European Food Safety Authority, as safe for use in foods and beverages.

There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that diet soda uniquely causes an increased risk of vascular events or strokes or any other adverse health effect.

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Nor does consuming
diet beverages uniquely promote tooth decay, as oral health is determined by many factors.

The bottom line is that diet sodas and the low-calorie sweeteners they contain are safe and an effective tool in weight loss and weight management.

Maureen Beach

Director, communications

American Beverage

Association

Washington

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