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Defending diet soda: Is artificial sweetener safe?

8:08 PM, Aug 14, 2013   |    comments
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NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) -- Diet soda sales are dropping across the country. Last year, diet coke lost three percent. Diet Pepsi saw its numbers fizzle by more than twice that amount.

Today, the Coca-Cola Company is out with a new ad promoting the benefits of artificial sweeteners in its soft drinks. But Griffin Hospital nutritionist Samantha Heller says people are wrong if they think diet sodas will help them lose weight.

"We don't believe so. If you look at the parallel rise of obesity and the use of artificial sweeteners in this country, it's pretty significant. And the artificial sweeteners appear to alter our neuro-biology in a lot of different ways that may increase our desire to eat more. So, I don't really think that they help with weight loss," she says.

She recommends cutting back on your diet soda intake and drink seltzer instead, so you can still enjoy the fizz without the calories or the artificial sweeteners.

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