For people who are conscious about their weight, they usually go for the healthier alternatives to eat. That is why some may consider drinking diet soda rather than the normal one. But according to recent research, drinking diet soda may not be a healthier choice, so it seems.
Researchers from the Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio conducted a study to see if diet soda does indeed provide a healthier alternative for people. The study involved 474 people with ages that range from 65 to 74 years old who were monitored for almost a decade. Their height, weight, waist circumference and diet soda intake were measured at the onset of the study and 3.6 years thereafter.
The researchers discovered that the waist circumference of those that drank diet soda grew 70 percent more as compared to those that completely avoided drinking the stuff. Those who drank two or more diet sodas daily had their waist grow 5 times larger than the non-diet soda drinkers. The findings also were in line with the 2005 study also conducted by the Texas Health Science Center that indicated that the chances of becoming obese or overweight increase with the number of diet soda consumed.
According to Sharon Fowler, faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology in the Health Science Center’s department of medicine during the study, “On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.”
But people may wonder even more just how a beverage that contains no calories can cause weight gain in people? It turns out that while our sense of taste can’t distinguish between real and artificial sugar, the brain can. The result is that while the taste buds can taste the sweetness when drinking soda with artificial sweeteners, the brain can determine that it might not provide the same satisfaction that it gets from real sugar. The artificial sweetener can trigger the appetite further for more sweets, but cannot do anything to satisfy the brain. The result, it can lead people to eat more.