Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shocking News About Diet Soft Drinks

1-2-1 Online Nutritional ConsultationIf you're chugging diet soft drinks in an attempt to keep your weight in check, put the soda can down now. People who drink diet sodas have a very high chance of becoming overweight or obese.

Researchers with the long-term San Antonio Heart Study at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have come up with a puzzling paradox for which they have no good explanation: Over a 26-year study period with 622 normal-weight participants aged 25 to 64, they determined that those who drank diet sodas were more likely to be overweight. Specifically, the risk of being overweight or obese increased 65 percent more with each diet drink per day, reports The Associated Press.

The numbers breakdown is bewildering indeed:

  • Over the course of the study, 32.7 percent of all participants became overweight or obese.
  • Of those who had two or more regular soft drinks a day, 47.2 percent became overweight or obese.
  • Of those who had two or more diet soft drinks a day, 57.1 percent became overweight or obese.
Huh? The researchers are just as puzzled as you are and admit the findings raise more questions than they answer. They emphasized that drinking diet soft drinks does not cause people to gain weight, although they are missing out on healthier beverages. Still, for some reason drinking diet soda in middle age does seem to be linked to a dramatic increase in the chance of gaining weight later.

"I want to be very clear, our findings do not prove that diet soft drinks cause people to gain weight," the study's lead author, Sharon Fowler, an associate faculty member at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio told The Houston Chronicle. "Right now we don't have any clear public message here. This just raises an interesting question."

So what is it then that causes weight gain if it's not the diet drinks? One theory is that someone who drinks diet soda may think it's OK to consume more calories. That is, it's fine to have that giant burger and super-sized fries as long as you wash them down with a Diet Coke.

The study findings were presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American Diabetes Association.
Source: Netscape.com

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