20% of Americans Drink Diet Beverages Daily
October 15, 2012 - News
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ATLANTA—A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals diet beverage consumption among Americans continues to climb as more and more consumers try to reduce calories by replacing sugar-sweetened drinks.

According to the “Consumption of Diet Drinks in the United States, 2009-2010" report, about 20% of the U.S. population consumed diet drinks on a given day in 2009-2010, and 11% consumed 16-ounces of diet drinks or more. Overall, the percentage consuming diet drinks was higher among females (up from 18% in 2000 to 21% in 2010) compared with males (up from 14% in 2000 to 19% in 2010).

The report was based on statistics from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, which are based on National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. Diet drinks included calorie-free and low-calorie versions of soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and carbonated water. Diet drinks did not include unsweetened teas or coffees or 100% fruit juice.

The report found diet drink consumption also differed by age, race and ethnicity, and income. Although 15.3% of non-Hispanic Caucasian children and adolescents consumed diet drinks, only 6.8% of non-Hispanic black and 7.5% of Hispanic children and adolescents consumed any diet drink on a given day during 2009-2010. Similarly, 27.9% of non-Hispanic Caucasian adults consumed any diet drink on a given day compared with 10.1% of non-Hispanic black and 14.1% of Hispanic adults. The percentage of higher-income persons who consumed diet drinks was higher than that for lower-income persons.

The report noted although substituting sugar drinks with diet drinks may promote weight loss in the short term , it is unclear if long-term consumption leads to weight loss, weight maintenance, or even weight gain.

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