LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A published study in a medical journal confirmed what everyone who has ever waited in a fast food restaurant line has thought at least once – what’s the point of ordering a diet soda with your double bacon cheeseburger and large fries?

According to a study published in the “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,” such meals are discretionary foods – energy dense, but typically low in nutrient value but high in sugar, sodium, fats and cholesterol.

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Alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages were associated with the largest increase in daily total calorie intake. And while coffee and diet beverages were associated with lower overall caloric intake, these drinks were also associated with more empty calories — think pastries with coffee, or cheeseburgers and fries with diet soda.

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The incremental daily calorie intake from discretionary foods associated with diet drinks was highest in obese adults, according to the study.

Researchers concluded that healthy eating interventions should assess a person’s beverage consumption in the context of overall dietary behavior.

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The study examined a nationally representative sample of 22,513 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2003 to 2013.