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Is Diet Soda Making You Fat?

By mariasmith76 HERWriter Blogger
diet-soda-may-put-on-pounds Lite Productions/Thinkstock

For millions of American women, drinking diet soda daily is akin to breathing ... something they just do without thinking about it. Most of them don't want to take in the extra 150 or so calories in a can of regular soda and figure getting the calorie-free option is much healthier.

But, recent studies have shown that diet soda can actually cause one to gain weight, and that it could be harmful to one's health in other ways too.

Two studies presented together in June 2011 at the meeting of the American Diabetes Association gave credence to the idea that diet sodas are actually causing weight gain.

One long-term study followed nearly 500 older (between 65 and 74 years old) diet soda drinkers. Over the 10 year period of the study, they found the diet soda drinkers' waists expanded by 70 percent more then non-drinkers. And for those who drank more than two diet sodas a day, they were five times as likely to gain weight than non-drinkers.

The health risks from having an increased waist circumference could be severe. Larger waists leave one more vulnerable to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and other chronic life-threatening conditions.

The other study presented at that meeting hinted at the reasoning behind diet soda contributing to weight gain. This study was done on mice and looked at their reactions to aspartame-laced food and food that did not have the artificial, no-calorie sweetener in it. The mice who ate the food with aspartame in it had higher blood sugar levels then the mice who ate regular food.

Researchers said these findings could explain why people who drink diet sodas have their appetite triggered by having higher blood sugar levels. They don't feel full. These people are obviously more vulnerable to taking in more calories because they feel hungry.

The good news for diet soda drinkers everywhere is that not all the research shows diet soda is bad for you. A six month study reported by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in February 2012 report found that people who switched sugary drinks with diet drinks lost weight.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

So that was the culprit why I've been gaining weight even if I exercise a lot. This is really good info. I'm no longer obese because I have used a pill Prescopodene for weight loss because I have been gaining weight even when I'm religiously exercising. The pill eventually helped me to get back in shape but I didn't realize that this soda could cause all these. Thanks again.

June 18, 2013 - 7:44pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I would love to try a the pill your using. Where did you buy them? I, too, have been trying my best to lose my excess weight for almost 5 years but nothing seems to happen even when I exercise and diet. I have tried portion sizing, paleo, but would always end up with weight loss plateau. And yes, I also drink diet soda. The ads were misleading. Anyway, I wanted to give this pill a try. I would appreciate any help or tips you could give me. Thanks in advance. Cheers!

July 5, 2013 - 6:03am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Good tips in the article for diet and exercise. I'm glad to see that it focused on diet and exercise as a coordinated effort. to add to the article, It would also be beneficial to determine how many calories your body burns and how many calories you should eat per day. Then you would have some accuracy in adjusting your diet for weight gain or loss. I have found an online calculator that will tell you how many calories your body is burning and how many calories you should eat per day. For anyone interested the calculators are located at How to Gain Weight. This could help you to know how to adjust your diet to either gain weight or lose weight.

March 6, 2012 - 9:42am
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