Being overweight puts you at risk for serious health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. According to the American Diabetes Association, dropping just 10 or 15 pounds can make a big difference for your longevity. Patients with Type 2 diabetes looking to drop weight may want to swap out diet beverages for water, suggests a new study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Researchers found that participants who switched to water and stopped drinking diet beverages experienced a decrease in weight and body mass index. They also saw greater improvements in fasting blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

Researchers studied of group of 81 overweight and obese women who all had Type 2 diabetes who participated in a 24 week weight loss program. Participants were asked to either substitute water for diet beverages or continue drinking the diet drinks five times per week after lunch for the duration of the trial, the study reported.

In 2014, 29.1 million people in the U.S., or about 9.3 percent of the population, suffered from diabetes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, so the results could have wide-ranging implications for those with Type 2 diabetes.

This study is part of a growing body of research showing that major health risks, especially for women, are associated with consuming diet beverages. Recent findings have also linked both diet and regular soda to possibly compromising a woman’s fertility and chances of successful artificial reproduction.

An older study published back in 2013 also found that drinking artificially sweetened beverages, especially low-fat diet drinks, can increase a person's risk of depression. Researchers found that diet soda drinkers had greater risk compared to those who drink other beverages like regular soda, regular fruit punches or regular iced tea.

Source: Madjd A, Taylor MA, Macdonald IA, Farshchi HR, et al. Beneficial effects of replacing diet beverages with water on type 2 diabetic obese women following a hypo-energetic diet: A randomized, 24-week clinical trial, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (2016).

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