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Today's Americans are drinking significantly more diet drinks than they were a decade ago, according to a new study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers found that roughly one-fifth of the U.S. population is sipping on diet drinks, such as calorie-free and low-calorie versions of soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and carbonated water. While about 17.8% of women and 13.9% of men drank diet drinks back in 2000, 21.2% of women and 19% of women are drinking them now.
Gender didn't make much of a difference when it came to diet drink consumption, except in the age group of 12- to 19-year-olds; in this group of adolescents, women drank significantly more diet drinks than men.
The study found that ethnicity and income played a role in determining who chose diet beverages. Non-Hispanic whites drank more diet drinks than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics; and the higher Americans' income, the more diet drinks they consumed.
This data corresponds to recent data that found that Americans are drinking fewer sugary drinks than they used to. In 2000, people were consuming 150 calories a day from the sugar in soda; that figure dropped to 91 calories a day in 2008.
The CDC's new statistics are based on in-person interviews with thousands of people in the "National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey."