Does diet soda lead to weight gain?
According to several new studies from researchers at University of Texas medical school, drinking diet soda leads to increased waistlines and may boost blood sugar levels. The research, presented at a recent American Diabetes Association conference found that people who drink diet soda—which contains virtually no calories and no nutritional value!—experienced a 70% greater increase in waist circumference over a decade than non-diet soda drinkers. And, the more diet soda people drank, the more weight they gained. For people who drank two or more diet sodas daily, their waist was five times larger than those who did not drink any diet soda!!
What is going on?? Diet soda has no calories, so there must be several other variables at play. As I am quoted in the NY Post, diet soda drinkers may also be prone to other unhealthy habits. Instead of eating an apple with their diet soda, they may be eating a bag of chips. I’ve also seen many people use artificial sweeteners in coffee just to give themselves permission to indulge in a brownie or candy bar. Some scientists also suggest that perhaps artificial sweeteners trigger appetite.
Take away message: Drinking diet soda does not give you license to indulge in a fattening food along with it. Skip the diet soda, and enjoy a cool glass of water or flavored seltzer. Herbal iced tea is also a tasty beverage, especially in summer heat.