Diet Soda and Obesity: What’s the Connection?
Diet sodas, which have artificial sweeteners, are supposed to reduce calorie intake and reduce weight. However, quite a few studies show that they do not. In fact, they do the opposite, i.e. people who drink diet soda are more prone to gain weight. Researchers have all the more reason to see diet soda with suspicion.
What does Research Say about Diet Soda and Obesity?
There have been many studies which showed a strong link between diet soda and obesity. Here are 2 of them:
Study by University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio:
According to a study by University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, for every bottle or can of diet soda a person drinks every day, the risk of being overweight increases by 41%. According to the researchers, when we drink something sweet with low-calories, our body reacts by desiring more calories.
Purdue University Study:
In a study by Purdue University, rats which were given foods with artificial sweeteners gained more weight than rats which were on normal sugary food. According to the researchers, when we consume low-calorie drinks or foods, we tend to overeat
Reasons Why Diet Soda May Cause Obesity:
Here are a few reasons that diet soda may cause obesity:
People mistake diet drinks with diet:
People may be under assumption that drinking diet soda is equivalent to being on a diet. However, this is not true as diet drinks do contain calories and drinking too many of them can add calories and increase your weight
It increases your preference of sugary drinks:
Drinking diet soda regularly may result in high preference for high-calorie sugar foods and drinks. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits
It may replace healthy drinks and foods:
Diet soda has zero nutrients in it. By drinking it, you would be avoiding healthy food, fruits, fruit juices etc.
Diet sodas increase your cravings towards sugary food and they can lead to obesity. This can be avoided by some healthy alternatives such as skim milk or moderate amount of pure fruit juice. You can also sip water all through the day which can keep you healthy.
Is Diet Soda Addictive?
Diet sodas like colas, contain nearly 35-70 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces of this drink. This caffeine is immediately added into the blood of the people who have the habit of drinking more than one diet soft drink everyday. Excess intake of Caffeine can lead to conditions like insomnia and irregular heart beat.
Moreover Caffeine is a habit forming ingredient. It leads to physical dependence on it. This is the reason why, people complain of headaches, nausea, and irritability when they try to withdraw from caffeinated beverages like diet soft drinks.
According to a study published in the December 9, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association, the artificial sweeteners used in the diet soda does not allow the mind to become satisfied after having fresh fruits and vegetables. Their involvement with raising the risks of heart diseases, diabetes and obesity is well known to the medical fraternity and general public.