Diet soda, it turns out, may not be the panacea for weight loss that we all thought — and many of us hoped — it was.
In fact, a Purdue University study has found that diet sodas may be linked to a number of health problems from obesity to diabetes to heart disease, just like their more sugary counterparts.
Susie Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences and a behavioral neuroscientist, reviewed a number of recent studies looking at whether drinking diet soft drinks over the long-term increases the likelihood that a person will overeat, gain weight and then develop other health problems.
A new 14-year study of 66,118 women (supported by many other previous studies) found that the opposite seems to be true. Diet drinks may be worse than sugar-sweetened drinks, which are worse than fruit juices (but only fresh-squeezed fruit juices).
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, discovered some frightening facts that should make us all swear off diet drinks and products.
- Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas!
- Women who drank one 12-ounce diet soda had a 33 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, and women who drank one 20-ounce soda had a 66 percent increased risk.
- Women who drank diet sodas drank twice as much as those who drank sugar-sweetened sodas because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar.
- The average diet soda drinker consumes three diet drinks a day.
You might say that people who are overweight and just about to get diabetes drink more diet soda, but they scientifically controlled for body weight. And they found the artificial sweeteners increased diabetes independent of body weight!