A recent millennial-targeted advertising campaign for diet soda features actress Gillian Jacobs (who played Brita on the TV comedy “Community”) explaining that a certain zero-calorie drink makes her feel good, and suggests viewers adopt her point of view: “Life is short ... just do you.”
These days, celebrity advertisements, including less-than-subtle product placements in G- and PG-rated movies, have fueled the myth that sugar-free, no-calorie sodas can help you avoid weight gain.
But research published in the journal Pediatric Obesity suggests that these artificially sweetened beverages aren't helping young people take in fewer calories or less added sugar.
In fact, the study finds that young people in the U.S. who regularly drink artificially sweetened beverages consume 200 calories more per day, as well as more added sugar, than those who stick with water.
And if they drink both artificially sweetened beverages and sugary drinks, they're packing in 450 more calories a day than water drinkers.
To help your kids avoid excess weight, eliminate foods and beverages that contain saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose from your home.
Explain to your kids that intense, fake sweet flavors may make the real sweet tastes in fruit seem unappealing, and unsweet foods, such as vegetables, downright repellant.
That will boosts their risk for weight gain and obesity, as well as Type 2 diabetes.
It also makes it hard to play sports, and sets them up for serious health problems at a young age.
So offer kids water, seltzer with lemon and fresh berries, or herbal iced tea. They'll be surprised by how much they like these healthy thirst-quenchers.