Most people that Drink diet drinks are
A. Wishing to Loose weight
Both A & B are know contributors to cardiovascular events.
So now we have a Cause vs Effect issue that the snippet (and probably the entire study) does not address.
Eating less; eating better.
Moving more--no, just moving will help with the battle of the bulges. Weight watchers is FULL of older women who haven't moved for years. They still don't want to move.
One woman said that it was "possible" to lose weight with the WW food choices without exercising but that it was almost impossible. It was much, much, much easier to eat right/less and move SOME.
I think you’ve accurately pointed out the reasons why this is more likely correlation versus causation.
And you beat me to it.