Diet Drinks Can Increase Your Waistline and Put Weight On

August 31, 2011

During the summer we naturally consume more drinks to help with dehydration, and diet drinks are certainly popular for both refreshment and in the mistaken belief they help you lose weight. I say mistaken advisedly as a new study has shown that diet drinks actually cause weight gain and blood sugar spikes.

These diet drinks are made with artificial sweeteners like aspartame and a landmark new study out of Texas confirms that not only do diet drinks not help with weight loss, but they actually cause both weight gain and health problems.

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at San Antonio gathered ten years worth of data on 474 participants from a larger, ongoing study called the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. Among these participants, those that consumed two or more diet drinks a day experienced waist size increases that were a staggering six times greater than those who did not consume diet drinks.

Helen P. Hazuda, a study researcher and professor at the UTHSC School of Medicine presented the study results at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association. She reported that: “Data from this and other prospective studies suggest that the promotion of diet sodas and artificial sweeteners as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised. They may be free of calories, but not of consequences.”

The findings debunk the false notion that switching to diet drinks will help you lose weight. What they do show is a 70 percent increase in waist size compared to those who do not drink them, so it is not clear how calling them ‘diet’ is applicable.

I have mentioned the health dangers of aspartame before, and a related study presented at the same time, found that this chemical sweetener commonly found in diet foods and drinks, is actually responsible for raising blood sugar levels.

This was an animal, not human study, but the results suggest that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels. This could be a major contributory factor to the risk of diabetes, already a worldwide epidemic and growing.

A previous study had linked saccharin to weight gain and according to Dr. Marie Savard, medical contributor for ABC News, there is something about diet foods that changes your metabolic limit, your brain chemistry.The truth is, we’re putting artificial sweetener in so many different things: in water, in yogurt. We have to rethink what this artificial stuff does to us.”

This links to a previous 2010 study conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases that found that the body’s reaction to the ingestion of artificial sweeteners appears to be brain confusion over how exactly to process it, which in and of itself is implicated in causing various other negative consequences.

Certainly it is true that US Food and Drug Administration have had adverse event reports going back several decades that indicate that artificial sweeteners like aspartame are also responsible for destroying brain neurons, which in turn leads to a host of chronic illnesses. These include, but are not limited to, chronic headaches, seizures, strokes, vascular disorders, heart disease, premature birth, dementia and other brain disorders, and cancer.

So if you want a fizzy refreshing drink then please steer clear of diet ones, and for a low calorie option try sparkling mineral water with a few drops of vanilla essence in it for sweetness and flavor.


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