Americans think that drinking diet sodas helps them lose weight, right? Well, a new study examining eight years of data on 1,550 Americans found that the diet soda drinkers gained weight rather than lost it.
The findings took the researchers by surprise, especially the fact that the risk of later becoming overweight or obese increased 41 percent for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumed each day.
“What didn’t surprise us was that total soft drink use was linked to overweight and obesity,” Sharon P. Fowler, M.P.H. of the University of Texas Health Science Center told WebMDHealth.
“What was surprising was when we looked at people only drinking diet soft drinks, their risk of obesity was even higher,” adds Fowler, who presented the data at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.
Fowler’s study isn’t the first to suggest that downing diet drinks could pack on the pounds, rather than peel them off. In fact, as I learned while researching and writing my book, SUGAR SHOCK!, other researchers and experts have come to similiar conclusions.
For instance, Fowler cited another recent study in which rat pups fed artificial sweeteners craved more calories than animals fed real sugar.
More than a year ago, I already heard about this “paradoxical increase in appetite” that led to weight gain while interviewing experts for my book. In fact, one such of a whopping 80,000 women–that was conducted for the American Cancer Society–found that of those folks who gained weight, artificial sweetener users gained more than non-users.
Of course, diet soda drinkers–who can be rather fanatical (as I once was)–won’t want to hear this diet-devastating news. But, take heart, those of you hooked on artificially sweetened beverages.
After you quit the stuff for a while, you really don’t miss it, as I discovered years ago. In fact, if you sip a diet drink after several months without, you might very well feel overwhelmed (as I once did) by the unnatural, excessively sweet taste–so much so that you can’t polish off the contents. I suspect that you’ll even learn that you’d much rather have a glass of no-sugar-added, unsweetened, herbal tea than an artificially sweetened soda.