Recent studies have shown that the diet soda you drink hoping to lose weight may in fact be doing the opposite. Though diet sodas have little or no calories, they can still increase your waist size up to five times because of the artificial sweeteners contained in the drinks. A study done at the Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio tracked over 450 people ages 65 to 74 for around a decade measuring their height, weight, and waist circumference. The results have shown that drinking one diet soda every day could increase your waist size up to 70% over three years. Drinking two or more sodas per day can raise your waist circumference up to five times larger than those who don’t drink diet soda.
Though our taste buds can’t tell the difference between artificial and real sugar, our brain can. Further studies have shown that when the brain is supplemented with so many artificial sugars; it overly reacts to real sugar. A recent study done with mice shows that those test animals that ate food only laced with aspartame (artificial sugar) for three months had higher blood sugar than those who ate regular food.
Other studies have shown that the chance of becoming overweight or obese increases with each diet soda consumed. “On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day they were 65% more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41% more likely to become obese,” says Sharon Fowler who helped facilitate the study in Texas.
Out of a study of 2,500 people it was found that those who drank diet soda daily were 61% more likely to face more health problems such as diabetes, heart attacks, or strokes sometime in their lives. Another study done by the UT Health Science Center in San Diego shows that aspartame triggers our appetite but cannot fulfill it, causing us to consume more than we should.
It has been found that when consuming these artificial sugars, your senses tell you that you’re tasting something very sweet, but your brain sends the signal that it is not as much of an award. Now your brain is unsatisfied, it wants more sugar so you go after another snack, usually with more calories.
Though there have been studies showing that diet soda can be harmful to your health, many doctors are saying you shouldn’t stop drinking it. If you are drinking diet soda in lieu of a higher calorie drink then you should continue doing it because it will still benefit you. Doctors warn that drinking diet soda is bad if only so you can have French fries with your steak or a cookie for dessert.
Will this new information affect your diet soda habits? Tell us in the comments below.