From Frugivore — Diet soda drinkers beware. Although most weight-conscious folks drink diet sodas to save on calories and sugar, new research suggests that the popular substitutes can actually increase the likelihood that drinkers will pack on the pounds and raise their risk of diabetes.
Scientists at the University of Texas, San Antonio studied data from 474 elderly Mexican and European Americans. The two-decade study concluded that the waistlines of diet soda drinkers expanded dramatically.
Science Daily reports:
Measures of height, weight, waist circumference and diet soda intake were recorded at SALSA enrollment and at three follow-up exams that took place over the next decade. The average follow-up time was 9.5 years. The researchers compared long-term change in waist circumference for diet soda users versus non-users in all follow-up periods. The results were adjusted for waist circumference, diabetes status, leisure-time physical activity level, neighborhood of residence, age and smoking status at the beginning of each interval, as well as sex, ethnicity and years of education.
Diet soft drink users, as a group, experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. Frequent users, who said they consumed two or more diet sodas a day, experienced waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than those of non-users.
Moreover, researchers have also found that our previously held ideas that diet sodas are healthy alternatives are wrong.