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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Feb;24(2):297-304. doi: 10.1002/oby.21327. Epub 2015 Dec 26.

The effects of water and non-nutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss and weight maintenance: A randomized clinical trial.

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University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
University of Florida, Department of Health Outcomes and Policy, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
Weight Watchers, New York, New York, USA.
Department of Medicine, Temple University, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



To evaluate the effects of water versus beverages sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) on body weight in subjects enrolled in a year-long behavioral weight loss treatment program.


The study used a randomized equivalence design with NNS or water beverages as the main factor in a trial among 303 weight-stable people with overweight and obesity. All participants participated in a weight loss program plus assignment to consume 24 ounces (710 ml) of water or NNS beverages daily for 1 year.


NNS and water treatments were non-equivalent, with NNS treatment showing greater weight loss at the end of 1 year. At 1 year subjects receiving water had maintained a 2.45 ± 5.59 kg weight loss while those receiving NNS beverages maintained a loss of 6.21 ± 7.65 kg (P < 0.001 for difference).


Water and NNS beverages were not equivalent for weight loss and maintenance during a 1-year behavioral treatment program. NNS beverages were superior for weight loss and weight maintenance in a population consisting of regular users of NNS beverages who either maintained or discontinued consumption of these beverages and consumed water during a structured weight loss program. These results suggest that NNS beverages can be an effective tool for weight loss and maintenance within the context of a weight management program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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