Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do Diet Sodas Make You Fat?

You would expect that diet sodas would help you lose weight since they have no or minimal calories. Drinking a diet soda rather than a regular soda saves you all that sugar, right? Many people develop diet soda drinking habits due to several factors, the caffeine, the sweetness or just wanting to drink something without the calories.

The link between diet sodas and weight is not what you might expect. Reviewed recently in the medical journal JAMA (Dec. 9, 2009), a major heart study showed that people who drank more than 21 diet sodas per week had twice the risk of becoming overweight or obese compared with people who don't drink diet soda. In another major study, daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 67% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (cause by excess weight). Drinking diet sodas gives you the same "sweet tooth" behavior as other sweets and actually results in people eating more calories than if they stayed away from sweets in general.

Other research is even more disturbing about the addictive nature of diet sodas. When rodents are fed artificial sweeteners, not only do they consume more calories and become obese, but they become very addicted to the sweeteners. When given the option of repeated use of cocaine or diet soda, they preferred the diet sodas!

There are so many options for healthy drinking than diet sodas. Water is the healthiest beverage to complement natural foods. If you want some caffeine, coffee or tea would be healthier than diet sodas. Be mindful of what you put in your body and I'm sure most of you have thought that diet sodas are not very good for you.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Diet sodas may sound like a wonderful drink for diabetics, but at the recent meeting of the American Society of Nephrology it was reported that drinking two or more diet sodas a day resulted in a 30% loss of kidney function. This study was done just in women and one study is not definitive evidence. I am sure the diet soda industry will fund a study that concludes these drinks do not harm kidneys.

You can find a link to the abstract of the paper on this NPR site.