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A recent millennial-targeted advertising campaign for diet soda features actress Gillian Jacobs (Brita on the TV-comedy "Community"), who says that a certain zero-calorie drink makes her feel good and suggests viewers adopt her POV: "Life is short just do you." These days, celeb-fueled advertisements, including less-than-subtle product placements in G- and PG-rated movies, have fueled the myth that sugar-free, no-calorie sodas can help you avoid weight gain.

But research published in Pediatric Obesity suggests that these artificially sweetened beverages aren't helping young folks take in fewer calories or less added sugar. In fact, the study finds that young people in the U.S. who regularly drink artificially sweetened beverages consume 200 calories more per day and more added sugar than those who stick with water. And, if they drink both artificially sweetened beverages and sugary drinks, they're packin' in 450 more calories a day than water drinkers.

To help your kids avoid excess weight, eliminate foods and beverages that contain saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame and sucralose from your home. Explain to your kids that intense, fake sweet flavors may make the real sweet tastes in fruit seem unappealing, and unsweet foods, such as vegetables, downright repellant. That boosts their risk for overweight and obesity, as well as Type 2 diabetes. It also makes it hard to play sports and sets them up for serious health problems at a young age.

No kid will choose those outcomes! So offer kids water, seltzer with lemon and fresh berries, or herbal iced tea. They'll be surprised by how much they like these healthy thirst-quenchers.

On June 10, Dr. Oz is talking with Julia Collin-Davison from America's Test Kitchen to help you understand your salmon options. Tune in for all the details!

 

(c)2019 Michael Roizen, M.D.

and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

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