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Letter: Diet drinks won't help increase weight loss

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

 From: Noel Taylor


Received: Feb. 2

Your Feb. 2 Associated Press article “Healthy Lessons” on Page A6 starts off with a false lesson: “Goodbye candy bars and sugary cookies. Hello baked chips and diet drinks.” What’s false is the message that diet drinks help you lose weight.

Almost all diet drinks contain aspartame, a very sweet substance which decomposes into methanol among other things, and metabolizes in the body into formaldehyde. Both cross the blood-brain barrier, resulting in some very anti-diet results.

One specific outcome known to medical science for a quarter-century now is the suppression of serotonin production in the brain. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter which is responsible for mood. It’s also responsible for suppressing carbohydrate appetite. So a diet drink user is far more likely than a regular soft-drink user to be depressed and to crave more carbs. The long-term result is weight gain, not loss. In short, diet drinks aren’t.

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