Diet Soda’s Connection to Weight Loss, Cancer, and Diabetes

We all know that diet soda, pop, cola or whatever you call it isn’t the healthiest beverage choice around. However, the dangers of diet soda has been a controversial subject in the world of health for quite some time. Is drinking diet soda really an adequate way to keep your waistline in check? Many recent studies have shed light on this question.

Diet soda lineup

Credit: NBCNews.com

What the Diet Soda Companies Say

A recent study conducted by researchers from Colorado and Temple University in Philadelphia has explored the subject as it relates to obesity and diet soda diabetes. WebMD sums up the results for easy reading. One group participated in a weight loss and exercise program but did not consume diet soda. The other group joined the same weight loss and exercise program, only its members drank diet soda daily. After twelve weeks, the people drinking diet soda lost thirteen pounds, four and a half more than the people drinking water.

It’s hard to argue with these facts, but there is one more fact lurking behind the scenes of the study. The American Beverage Association funded it, leading many people to believe it was biased. After all, other studies have not had such glorious results.

What Recent Studies Say about Diet Soda Risks

So what kinds of studies have been made to discredit diet soda? The main one is a recent study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society by Sharon Fowler, who is from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The study, summed up by Medical News Today, notes that people who drink soda, even the zero-calorie diet kind, are more likely to be obese.

While many researchers look into diseases among young adults, this study focuses on health effects with seniors. The research involved over seven hundred adults who were at least sixty-five years old. At the beginning of the study, their weight, height and waistline were all measured. After a few follow-ups, the group came together for the concluding measurements about nine and a half years later. People who did not drink diet soda regularly saw their waist circumference increased by .80 inches on average. For the people who occasionally drank diet soda, their waist circumference increased by 1.83 inches on average. If you really like diet soda, that number’s not too bad, but I would definitely prefer the .80 inches.

The last group’s results were the most surprising. For the people who drank diet soda daily, their waist circumference increased by 3.16 inches on average. This means that the people who drank diet soda experienced nearly four times the circumference increase as compared to the people who never drank any. It also means that they experienced nearly twice the circumference increase as compared to the individuals who only drank diet soda sometimes.

Aggression: Side Effects of Diet Coke

Our waistlines aren’t the only things at stake when it comes to diet soda and our health. For one, there has been research claiming that drinking fizzy beverages, diet or not, increases aggression in children. Medscape covered this phenomenon, explaining a study that looked at nearly three thousand five-year-olds in different major cities. The study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, had around 40 percent of the children consume one soft drink per day, while 4 percent consumed four or more in a day. The children drinking four or more, Medscape explains, were “twice as likely to destroy other people’s belongings, physically attack others and get into fights.” Thus, with every increase of the beverage, the chance of aggressive behavior increased. They were also more likely to have attention problems. Throw this information on top of heart disease, diabetes and the waistline increase, and sodas (including diet) begin to look even less appealing.

Are You Drinking Diet Soda?

Don’t get me wrong: if you love drinking diet soda as much as I love drinking coffee, then feel free to drink it every day. However, it’s usually a good thing to learn about what you’re putting in your body. Don’t think it’s perfectly fine to chug down artificially-flavored diet soda just because it has zero calories: the research shows its various ingredients aren’t good for your health. Remember these statistics the next time you pick up a can of your favorite diet soda.

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