LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Science is on the side of diet drinks

By Katherine McLane

In a recent piece in the Odessa American, “STONE: Think twice about diet soda,” the author offers his opinion on diet beverages but misses some important facts. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as regulatory agencies around the globe and decades of scientific research, have determined that low calorie sweeteners found in thousands of foods and beverages are safe.

Studies have also shown that low-calorie sweeteners can help people manage their weight. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms that beverages that contain these ingredients can be an important tool in helping reduce calories, and also helped with sweet cravings. Moreover, a two-part study published in the journal Obesity showed that dieters who drank low- and no-calorie beverages lose as much, if not more, weight (and were able to keep more off) than those who were restricted to water only.

Texas beverage companies pride ourselves on listening to our consumers and consumers have told us they want more beverages with less sugar. Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and PepsiCo are meeting that consumer preference by offering more options with less or no sugar like teas, sparkling waters and smaller portions sizes of the old favorites. This is a good thing. In fact, of all beverages purchased today, 48 percent have zero calories and 60 percent of the new brands and flavors hitting the market have fewer calories or no calories at all.

Texas’s beverage companies share the goal of healthy, thriving communities because we have long been a part of communities across our state. We will continue to support our consumers by offering great tasting products and plenty of options to help them moderate their calories and sugar from beverages.

Katherine McLane