If you are old enough, you may remember the old diet coke commerical that swept the nation…
Despite the portrayal in the commercial, beware soda lovers: diet soda can still make you pack on the pounds.
At least that’s what two new studies presented at the American Diabetes Association in San Diego are saying.
The information may come as a surprise to the 59 percent of Americans who guzzle diet sodas on a daily basis.
In one study, researchers followed 474 diet soda drinkers between the ages of 65 to 74 years old for almost 10 years. They discovered that diet soda drinker’s waistlines grew 70 percent more than nondrinkers.
Dr. Helen Hazuda, professor of medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio warned in an article on CBS News that promotion of diet sodas as a healthy alternative is not necessarily a good idea. A growing waistline could also mean a dozen other health risks including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions.
But with diet soft drinks being calorie free, what exactly is it about them that can make you fat?
The culprit is the artificial sweetening found in diet sodas. When you drink a diet soft drink, sweeteners like aspartame give your taste buds the illusion of something sweet, but there is no calorie load that comes with it. It triggers your appetite without providing the necessary nutrients to quench the hunger.
In the second study, researchers divided mice into two groups and fed one group food laced with the sweetener aspartame and fed the other regular food. After three-months, the mice eating the aspartame food had higher blood sugar levels than the others. This led researches to conclude that there is a link between diet soda consumption and risk of diabetes.
People who drink more than one diet drink a day should think seriously about cutting back. The connection your brain makes between sweet tastes and lack of calories can cause you to overeat and even alter your metabolism.
If you are drinking diet soda in excess, you may be counteracting the whole purpose of a diet drink in the first place. As for me, diet sodas are a vice that I will not likely be able to give up.