Diet soft drinks may increase waist circumference

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Diet soft drinks may increase waist circumference

Medscape reported that, according to research presented at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting, “consumers of diet soft drinks experienced a 70% greater increase in waist circumference than nonconsumers.”
What’s more, after examining “the effect of the long-term consumption of diet soft drinks by a population of individuals 65 to 74 years of age (n = 474),” researchers found that, “among elderly drinkers of two or more diet soft drinks per day, mean increases in waist circumference were five times greater than those recorded for nonconsumers.”
In a past blog, I also warned you, “Diet soda consumption may be linked to increased heart attacks and strokes.”


  1. Walt,
    Did they say why this is true? Is the a mechanism by which some ingredient in diet soft drinks increase the appetite or change the metabolism?
    Or is this the same as saying the cottage cheese makes people fat because only fat people eat cottage cheese? 🙂

  2. Hi Alieta,
    It was a randomized trial, so it does look causative. I’m not sure of what the mechanism might be.
    Although diet soft drinks have long been thought to be a healthier alternative to their sugary counterparts; however, past reports have also linked increased incidence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes to the frequent intake of diet soft drinks.
    And, that’s not to mention the possible association between soft drinks and osteopenia/osteoporosis secondary to the possible leaching of calcium from the bones by the phosphoric acid in these drinks.
    Heavens to Betsy, it looks like diet soft drinks might not be such a healthy alternative after all.

  3. Judy Pearson says:

    About 9 years ago I was teaching 7th and 8th grades. After noting the students seeming to always having a soft drink in their hands, I took a poll in my classes. The students drank an average of 5 to 6 soft drinks a day!!! Most of these consumed at school, while many drank one for breakfast!!!

  4. I think this is just one of an ever increasing number of studies linking diet drinks (and foods in general) with a huge number of health concerns, only one of which is weight gain. And I think Dr. Eck who commented first has brought up the likely cause. Artificial sweetners are linked with weight gain (and memory loss, and cancer, and, and, and…..). How are these chemicals allowed in to the food chain? And when you consider what Judy Pearson says in her comments about the adolescents she worked with.
    I’m scared! Is anyone else?

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