Objectives: We examined national patterns in adult diet-beverage consumption and caloric intake by body-weight status.
Methods: We analyzed 24-hour dietary recall with National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2010 data (adults aged ≥ 20 years; n = 23 965).
Results: Overall, 11% of healthy-weight, 19% of overweight, and 22% of obese adults drink diet beverages. Total caloric intake was higher among adults consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) compared with diet beverages (2351 kcal/day vs 2203 kcal/day; P = .005). However, the difference was only significant for healthy-weight adults (2302 kcal/day vs 2095 kcal/day; P < .001). Among overweight and obese adults, calories from solid-food consumption were higher among adults consuming diet beverages compared with SSBs (overweight: 1965 kcal/day vs 1874 kcal/day; P = .03; obese: 2058 kcal/day vs 1897 kcal/day; P < .001). The net increase in daily solid-food consumption associated with diet-beverage consumption was 88 kilocalories for overweight and 194 kilocalories for obese adults.
Conclusions: Overweight and obese adults drink more diet beverages than healthy-weight adults and consume significantly more solid-food calories and a comparable total calories than overweight and obese adults who drink SSBs. Heavier US adults who drink diet beverages will need to reduce solid-food calorie consumption to lose weight.