Diet Sodas Definitely Aren’t Good For You

NPR highlights three studies on diet sodas, none of which do them any favors:

  • A study on how diet sodas relate to metabolic syndrome, which is generally found in fat people and causes heart disease and diabetes. The researchers created three groups and measured how many of them developed the disorder. The first group drank diet sodas and had an awful diet (think McDonald’s all the time). The second group drank diet sodas and were on a healthy diet (fruit, fish, nuts, veggies). The third group didn’t drink sodas at all and were on the healthy diet, too. Metabolic syndrome was highest in the diet soda + bad food group, followed by diet soda + healthy food one, and lowest in the no soda + healthy food collective.
  • A study on how weight change relates to various lifestyle factors, including amount of exercise, of TV watched and various foods eaten, found that diet sodas didn’t affect people’s weight. The study did find out factors that correlated with people losing weight: exercising and eating healthy (fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and yogurt). They also found out what factors correlated with people gaining weight: watching TV, drinking, smoking, sleeping too little or too much, and a poor diet (potatoes, potato chips, sugary drinks, processed meat, and red meat).
  • Just to conflict with the one above, another study showed that people who drank diet sodas gained more weight than ones who didn’t.

But no studies showed that there’s anything diet about diet sodas. They either do nothing, or make you fat. What all of this sums up to is diet soda being at best a crutch that doesn’t help your health; more likely though, it’s a crutch that slowly kills you. Just stick to water.


From The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, The New England Journal of Medicine, via NPR and CBS News


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