Startling revelations from a study that has been revealed by the American Diabetes Association at a meeting over last weekend show that diet soda is not as good for people as what has been advertised. Many people begin drinking diet sodas in an effort to lose weight and lower their sugar levels. However, the reverse may be the actual outcome.
In a study conducted at the University of Texas, San Antonio shows that drinking diet soda leads to an overall increase in bodyweight. An even more startling revelation from this study shows that the artificial sweetening agents used in the diet soda may also bring about Type 2 diabetes.
This study has been an ongoing research for almost ten years. Researchers tracked a total of 474 people who all range in ages from 65 to 74. During the time that the data was collected it was found that the people who substituted diet soda into their diet over the full fizzed counterparts had a 70% increase in their waistline. With the added increase in weight, new health problems surface such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
One researcher wrote a scathing statement regarding diet sodas. They write, “The promotion of diet sodas as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised. They may be free of calories, but not of consequences.” These consequences are even more health problems.
The reason for this may not actually be linked to the diet soda, but with the brain. Previous research done in this area has shown that when the brain expects to have extra calories it will program the body to store calories it receives as fat. This is to make up for the sudden decrease in calories, as when someone begins drinking diet soda, or goes on a diet.
One other reason may be linked to the artificial sweetener used in the diet sodas. A second study was done, but this time it was on mice. Researchers fed twenty mice a regular diet while twenty others were given food that had aspartame in it. This is the same artificial sweetener found in most diet sodas. The results were eerily the same as the human group.
Opponents of this study argue back that those who gain the extra weight either consume more diet soda than they should or make up for the loss in calories in more high calorie foods. The researchers tend to agree, but only in the way that the sweeteners could be the culprit in triggering an increased appetite.
Yet another study at the University of Texas linked increased consumption of aspartame with an elevation in glucose levels. Dr. Gabriel Fernandes, a professor of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University said, “These results suggest that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels, and thus contribute to the associations observed between diet soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans.”
Even with all this research and information, sales of diet sodas continually increase with over 9.4 billion cases of diet soda sold in the U.S. alone.