With the increasing waistline of most Americans or those who share the Standard Western Diet, diet soda has become a staple. If it’s hot and your thirsty you reach for a soda. If you are in the car and driving long distances you reach for a soda. If you’re playing ball, bowling or just watching a movie – you reach for a soda.
Companies have spent massive amounts of money convincing the public that diet soda is the healthier, and lighter, choice. If we want to enjoy the taste of soda but lose weight then diet soda is the way to go.
But just the opposite may be true. In a recent study researchers from the Texas Health And Sciences Center School of Medicine finalized their conclusions from an eight year data collection and presented them a the American Diabetes Association meeting.
They found that even though drinking soda was associated with a high risk of obesity that drinking diet soda was linked with an even higher risk. This means that when the researchers took a good look at their data that found that nearly all the obesity risk came from diet sodas. (1)
The researchers are quick to point out that this kind of study doesn’t prove that diet sodas cause obesity but rather, it shows that something linked to diet soda drinking is also linked to obesity.
In another study from Purdue University, Indiana, researchers found that rats who consistently ate artificial sweeteners more consistently ate more food. This supports the theory that artificial sweeteners alter the body’s perception of satisfaction when artificial sweeteners are used. (2)
This means that although you may feel that you have received a sweet your brain doesn’t register the fact and your body continues to crave other sweets and foods.
Even though diet soda doesn’t have the sugar or the calories it is full of other chemicals that drain your health such as caffeine, sodium, phosphoric acid and artificial sweeteners. But Americans continue their love affair with soda. According to Beverage Digest, overall sales of all sodas in 2005 worked out to be approximately 2 ½ servings per day for every man, woman and child.
There are also multiple other chemicals that come along for the ride. Some of these chemicals include caffeine and phosphoric acid which leaches calcium from the body and can tilt your pH balance dangerously to the acidic side.
Although diet soda is a good very short-term method to decrease the sugar intake of drinking lots of regular soda each day it is also something that should be weaned out of the diet after the initial sugar addiction has been conquered. So the basic question of ‘is diet soda healthy?’ can honestly be answered with a resounding no.