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Does diet soda lead to weight gain!?

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.

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2 Responses to “Does diet soda lead to weight gain!?”

  1. Beth Says:

    Not that I have published or even led a study on the subject, but I believe that diet soda makes you fat. I was addicted to diet coke. I would have at least a liter a day. All of my other food choices were healthy, but I was constantly hungry and had a major sweet tooth that was hard to satisfy on a low fat, high fiber diet. I got a major intestinal infection in February 2010 and had to go off of virtually everything for three weeks, including Diet Coke. I decided to experiment and not go back to it at all and see if it made a difference in the way I felt. Since I don’t drink other drinks that contain caffeine, I was now also caffeine free. I had more energy and I wasn’t constantly looking for something sweet to eat. Although the virus helped, I lost 6 lbs that winter to reach my goal weight. One and a half years later, I don’t miss the Diet Coke at all, I have subsequently removed all artificial sweeteners from my diet and have lost an additional 4 lbs (depending on the day). I don’t even think I would like the taste of Diet Coke if I went back to it, and that’s huge, considering I had my first Diet Coke at 7 am and kept on drinking it until 11 pm. I was never without a Diet Coke in my hand and only drank water at the gym. Now I drink water and the occasional sparkling water and once in a while an unsweetened iced tea. I am not as “thirsty” as I once was. Interesting subject. I wonder if the increased waist circumference not only comes from the unhealthy indulgences that DC drinkers allow themselves, but also the idea that DC, as with all artificial sweeteners, increase your cravings for sweets because they trigger receptors but don’t fit them. Food for thought :-)

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