In response to two abstracts related to diet soda and low-calorie sweeteners that were presented this week at the American Diabetes Association's 71st Scientific Sessions, the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:

"Numerous peer-reviewed published studies have shown that diet sodas are proven to be an effective tool for weight loss and weight maintenance.1 The most likely explanation for the findings of this abstract on weight gain may be that individuals seeking to lose weight often switch to low-calorie sweeteners in order to reduce their caloric intake. In fact, one of the authors herself has previously noted that there ‘may be no causal relationship between use of low-calorie sweeteners and weight gain.' 2 Furthermore, these abstracts were not representative of the general population - one looked at men and women ages 65 to 74, while the other looked at mice, not people.

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, we know that a primary risk factor is obesity, something which can be mitigated by maintaining a healthy weight and being physically fit. All calories count, regardless of their source from foods or beverages. Science has shown that the key to maintaining a healthy weight is energy balance-balancing calories consumed with calories burned through daily physical activity.

What we know for certain is that low-calorie sweeteners can help reduce calories and sugar intake and aid in maintaining a healthy weight - positions supported by health organizations including the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association."

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The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.

1 Marinilli Pinto A, Gorin AA, Raynor HA, Tate DF, Fava JL, Wing RR. Successful weight-loss maintenance in relation to method
of weight loss. Obesity, 2008 Nov;16(11):2456-61.; Bellisle F, Drewnowski A. Intense sweeteners, energy intake and the control of body weight. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007 Jun;61(6):691-700.; Raben A, Vasilaras TH, Møller AC, Astrup AV. [Sugar--but not sweeteners--increased the weight of obese persons after ten weeks of intake]. Ugeskr Laeger. 2003 Apr 7;165(15):1552-7.; Ebbeling CB, Feldman HA, Osganian SK, Chomitz VR, Ellenbogen SJ, Ludwig DS. Effects of decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption on body weight in adolescents: a randomized, controlled pilot study. Pediatrics. 2006 Mar;117(3):673-80.; Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, Coulon S, Cefalu WT, Geiselman P, Williamson DA. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite. 2010 Aug;55(1):37-43.; Phelan S, Lang W, Jordan D, Wing RR. Use of artificial sweeteners and fat-modified foods in weight loss maintainers and always-normal weight individuals. International Journal of Obesity. 2009 Oct;33(10):1183-90.; Magnuson BA, Burdock GA, Doull J, Kroes RM, Marsh GM, Pariza MW, Spencer PS, Waddell WJ, Walker R, Williams GM. Aspartame: a safety evaluation based on current use levels, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2007;37(8):629-727.; Position of the American Dietetic Association: appropriate use of nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners. J Am Diet Assoc. 1987 Dec;87(12):1689-94.; American Diabetes Association: Position statement: Nutrition recommendations and principles for people with diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care. 22 (Suppl 1): S42-45, 1999.

2 Fowler, S. P., Williams, K., Resendez, R. G., Hunt, K. J., Hazuda, H. P. & Stern, M. P. Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain. Obesity, 2008:16, 8, 1894-900.