People who drank diet beverages, including diet sodas and diet teas, lost an average of 13 pounds (approximately six kg) as compared to nine pounds (approximately four kg) on average who drank only water in the same programme, the study showed.

"I was surprised that diet beverages performed better than water," John C Peters from Colorado University's Anschutz health and wellness center was quoted as saying.

The study involved 303 participants who were drinking at least three diet sodas per week prior to the study. All participants were told to follow the same diet and physical activity plan; the only difference came in what they were assigned to drink, the researchers said.

In addition to losing more weight than the people in the water-only group, the people in the diet-beverage group also reported feeling less hungry during the course of the study.

However, experts believe that the industry-funded study left many questions unanswered such as what the overall quality of the diet was and in what quantities the participants drank. The study appeared in the journal Obesity.


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