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Dietitian Perspective: Are Soft Drinks the Only Reason We're Fat?

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The following is a letter from a reader sent to us in response to the article Are Soft Drinks the Only Reason We're Fat?

June 6, 2012

To the Editor:

I appreciate the discussion brought up in the June 4 article “Are Soft Drinks the Only Reason We’re Fat?” It’s true that there are many factors of obesity, including lifestyle, depression and the way that food is processed.

As a Registered Dietitian, however, I don’t agree with your statements about HFCS and artificial sweeteners. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), formerly the American Dietetic Association, has information on both HFCS and artificial sweeteners in the evidence analysis library available atwww.eatright.org. Having done an extensive review of the research on both HFCS and artificial sweeteners, the Academy concluded that HFCS does not stimulate production of triglyceride or cause permanent metabolic changes. Their position on artificial sweeteners is that they do not cause sugar craving or sugar dependence, and have been shown to help promote weight management and sustain weight loss when used in place of nutritive sweeteners.

The Academy’s positions on these topics are based on science and multiple studies, not just one study or hypothesis. I would invite you to visit the website for a review of fact based information. It’s important to remember that all foods and beverages can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when consumed in moderation.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Melissa Herrmann Dierks RD, LDN, CDE

Owner of Eat Smart Nutrition Co. and consultant to food and beverage companies, including Coca-Cola



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