According to the “Consumption of Diet Drinks in the United States, 2009-2010" report, about 20% of the U.S. population consumed diet drinks on a given day in 2009-2010, and 11% consumed 16oz. of diet drinks or more. Overall, the percentage consuming diet drinks was higher among females (up from 18% in 2000 to 21% in 2010) compared with males (up from 14% in 2000 to 19% in 2010).
The report was based on statistics from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, which are based on National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. Diet drinks included calorie-free and low-calorie versions of soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and carbonated water. Diet drinks did not include unsweetened teas or coffees or 100% fruit juice.
The report found diet drink consumption also differed by age, race and ethnicity, and income. Although 15.3% of non-Hispanic Caucasian children and adolescents consumed diet drinks, only 6.8% of non-Hispanic black and 7.5% of Hispanic children and adolescents consumed any diet drink on a given day during 2009-2010. Similarly, 27.9% of non-Hispanic Caucasian adults consumed any diet drink on a given day compared with 10.1% of non-Hispanic black and 14.1% of Hispanic adults. The percentage of higher-income persons who consumed diet drinks was higher than that for lower-income persons.
The report noted although substituting sugar drinks with diet drinks may promote weight loss in the short term, it is unclear if long-term consumption leads to weight loss, weight maintenance, or even weight gain.