Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Study Says Diet Fizzy Drinks Can Make You fat

Scientists seem to love presenting new research which can throw dieters good intentions out of the window. The latest findings from a study seem to suggest that if you drink diet fizzy drinks, you’re more likely to become overweight than those who don’t drink them.

Results from a ten year study by US researchers from the University of Texas, were announced at the American Diabetes Association. The study assessed data from 474 elderly men and women to examine the relationship between drinking diet soft drinks and change in waist size.

In addition to their diet fizzy drink consumption, the data also included recording measurements of their weight, height, waist circumference, diabetes status, whether they smoked, their activity levels, age, gender, ethnicity, residential neighbourhood and years in education.

The findings showed that those who drank soft drinks on a regular basis, were 70 percent more likely to show an increase in waist circumference than those who didn’t drink these products. And those who drank two or more diet sodas every day showed a waist increase which was five times greater than non-diet soda drinkers.

The researchers said: "These results suggest that, amidst the national drive to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, policies that would promote the consumption of diet soft drinks may have unintended deleterious effects.”

Of course, no one is saying that diet fizzy drinks are healthy, or any diet drinks for that matter. What they offer is a chance to drink something that’s not loaded with sugar but is infinitely more palatable than a glass of water.

What’s interesting to note about these results, is they don’t mention whether those people not drinking diet soft drinks also weren’t drinking regular soft drinks. So they’re not saying you may as well swap your diet cola for ‘full fat’ cola.

What they seem to suggest is that it’s the artificial sweeteners which are messing with our physical relationship with calories. Our body is obtaining something sweet in the form of a fizzy drink, and is therefore expecting a load of calories. When it doesn’t get these calories, it might make you feel hungrier so you’ll go on to eat more than if you’d consumed a regular sugary fizzy drink.

It can all become very confusing. But when it comes down to it, if you’re on a diet, fizzy drinks do fill you up, they contain no calories so they won’t make you fat. What will make you fat is eating too many calories from other food or drink!

© Diets and Calories 2011

Source: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (2011, June 28). Waistlines in people, glucose levels in mice hint at sweeteners' effects: Related studies point to the illusion of the artificial. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 29, 2011, from¬ /releases/2011/06/110627183944.htm


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