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Diet Drinks: New Warning

Contrary to popular marketing, you can gain weight drinking diet sodas. In fact, a new study shows that men and women who consumed diet drinks saw their waist sizes expand 70 percent more than study participants who avoided diet drinks. Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio followed 474 men and women ages 65 to 74 for almost 10 years. During that time, they found that those who consumed two or more diet sodas a day increased their waist circumferences five times more those of the other study participants. The explanation may be related to findings from another study, in which laboratory mice ate a diet containing the artificial sweetener aspartame, while mice in another group consumed their regular food. After three months, the mice in the aspartame group had higher blood sugar levels than those in the other group. Researchers speculated that artificial sweeteners may trigger appetite but don't provide calories to satisfy the craving, or that the sweeteners could inhibit brain cells that make you feel full, thus prompting more eating.

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Reader Comments (10)

What about soda with stevia? Which I think tastes way better then other diet drinks.

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin

The whole diet soda debate has become awfully skewed. "Diet sodas are bad for you", says the Average American, while swigging down a Big Gulp full of sugar soda. I encounter this all the time.

It is fairly clear: if you are going to drink soda, make it a diet soda. There may be a few issues with diet sodas, but these pale in comparison to the host of known issues of sugar soda, especially sodas sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Dental decay, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. etc...

The same can also be said for milk and fruit juice, both of which also have a host of issues far greater than diet soda when drunk in excess.

In life, we will all drink soda at some time. Thus the real push should not be to demonise "diet sodas" but to give these kinds of articles the perspective they need - that diet sodas sit in between the "sugar soda" and "tea or water" on the beverage scale.

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTy Frost

No soda is not good for you, but aspartame in diet soda? Here are some facts. Think about it.

In 1997 there was an increase in aspartame users reporting severe toxicity reactions and damage such as seizures, eye damage and vision loss, confusion, severe migraines, tremors, depression, anxiety attacks, insomnia, etc. In the same years, Ralph Walton, MD, Chairman, The Center for Behavioral Medicine showed that the only studies which didn't find problems with aspartame where those funded by the manufacturer (Monsanto). Given the agreement amongst independent scientists about the toxicity of aspartame, the only question was whether the formaldehyde exposure from aspartame caused the toxicity. That question has now been largely answered because of research in the late 1990s.

Aspartame (nutrasweet) breaks down into methanol (wood alcohol).

Methanol quickly converts to formadehyde in the body.

Formaldehyde causes gradual and eventually severe damage to the neurological system, immune system and causes permanent genetic damage at extremely low doses.

Methanol from alcoholic beverages and from fruit and juices does not convert to formaldehyde and cause damage because there are protective chemicals in these traditionally ingested beverages.

The most recent independent research in Europe demonstrates that ingestion of small amounts of aspartame leads to the accumulation of significant levels of formaldehyde (bound to protein) in organs (liver, kidneys, brain) and tissues.

Excitotoxic amino acids such as the one which is immediately released from aspartame likely increases the damage caused by the formaldehyde.

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterS Manning

I have been drinking diet sodas & colas for approx: 41 years and here I am with no MAJOR health issues . The only issues I have go with aging & family history which aren't many. So I will continue to drink DIET SODAS and not all that sugar & corn syrups in regular sodas. When I lost a 100 lbs, I continued to drink @ least 4 diet sodas per day . I lost not gained while drinking them. Explain that ! ! ! !

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

It's only a correlation - people who get fat drink diet pop. We don't know if the diet pop has anything to do with it. Although it's quite possible that people who have a weight problem would opt for sugar-free drinks in the hopes of controlling their weight, in which case diet pop might have actually been responsible for preventing even more weight gain, who knows?. There is nothing is this correlation to suggest causation.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

In my experience waiting tables in college, I noticed that diet soda drinkers ALWAYS had AT LEAST three refills on their beverages, while others who drank regular soda, sweetened tea or lemonade had only one refill. The diet soda drinkers would choose the most unhealthy options on the menu, were always overweight, and ate more than those who drank beverages with regular sugar or corn syrup. This was my observation. I personally can't tolerate artificial sweeteners, they give me a headache almost instantly.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Anderson

Last spring I discovered pop/soda made with stevia as a gradual shift from sugar due to a cancer diagnosis. It is pricey and I wonder what could be the long term effects of consuming such drinks? I wonder if the body eventually reacts to stevia like artificial sweeteners (responds like sugar)?

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercindy warren

Now we know that you can gain weight even if you are consuming foods without calorie, (although indirectly).

September 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHealth Blog

How many studies have to come out on these artificial sweetners until the general public gets it? Chemicals are bad for your body in general, and "diet" foods and drinks have been shown consistently to cause weight gain (among other health problems). Just eat the real thing and learn to consume it in moderation. End of story!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatural Health Alternative

A lot of my family who still live in the US drink diet soda, but they eat everything else which is unhealthy. They think by drinking diet soda they are helping themselves, but not when all they eat is high in fat and sugar.
Drinking diet soda I think puts people into the mentality that they are 'healthier' when what they drink is actually the least of their problems...

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlison
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