The ultimate effect of regular and diet carbonated soft drinks on energy intakes depends on possible relations with other dietary components. With this motivation, this study compared grocery purchase patterns of regular and diet soft drink consumers using a large sample of US single person households. We tested for differences in food spending shares allocated to 43 food categories chosen mainly for their desirable/undesirable nutritional properties. We also investigated whether differences in purchased quantity of diet soft drinks are associated with differences in purchases of other food categories. We found a large number of significant differences, virtually all showing that more diet soda prone consumers make better nutrition choices, particularly regarding energy content. The study suggests that use of diet soft drinks does not lead to compensation by increased use of high energy foods.


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