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A new study shows switching to water and diet beverages can tip the scale in your favor if you're trying to lose weight.
The University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health announced their new study that shows substituting water or diet soft drinks for drinks with calories can help people shed four to five pounds.
The study compared weight loss for 318 overweight or obese people divided into three groups. One group switched to water, another to diet beverages, and a third that received general counseling on healthy choices but were not counseled to change beverages.
All three groups had weight loss, but those who switched to calorie-free drinks were twice as likely to lose 5 percent or more of their body weight. Water drinkers had lower fasting glucose levels and better hydration levels.
Professor Deborah Tate, the author of the study, told The Daily Mail that it shows substituting non-caloric beverages "can be a clear and simple change for people who want to lose or maintain weight."
"If this were done on a large scale, it could significantly reduce the increasing public health problem of obesity," she said.
The study, Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday or CHOICE, appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition .
While not a huge loss in weight, Tate told the Daily Mail that getting people to change one aspect of their diets such as drink beverages was an easily manageable goal.
She said switching to diet soda may be a more likely solution for someone who likes the sweet flavor or carbonation of sodas.
Researchers have connected sugary soft drinks to the nation's obesity crisis. CBS News reported in 2011 that a study of Massachusetts schoolchildren discovered the odds of obesity increased 60 percent for every additional sweet drink a child drinks a day.
A study printed in American Diabetes Association's DiabetesCare in 2010 showed a connection between soda drinks and type 2 diabetes.
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