Dr. Bollmann, Skin Care Specialist, Anti-Aging Expert
Have you switched to diet soda to get rid of sugar and decrease your waistline. New studies suggest differently.
With messages suggesting them as healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, sodas that contain artificial sweeteners (asparatame, saccharin, and sucralose) have been soaring in popularity. Sharon Fowler, from the University of Texas Health Science Center (Texas, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 749 Mexican- and European-Americans, ages 65 years and older at the start of the study (1992-1996), enrolled in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA). Diet soda intake, waist circumference, height, and weight were measured at study onset, and at three follow-ups totaling 9.4 follow-up years. At the first follow-up there were 474 (79.1%) surviving participants; there were 413 (73.4%) at the second follow-up and 375 (71.0%) at the third follow-up.
Findings indicate that the increase in waist circumference among diet soda drinkers, per follow-up interval, was almost triple that among non-diet soda drinkers. After adjusting for confounding factors, the team revealed waist circumference increases of 0.80 inches for non-diet soda drinkers, 1.83 inches for occasional drinkers, and 3.16 inches for daily drinkers over the total 9.4-year study follow-up period.
My advice: certainly cut down on diet sodas to keep trim, or eliminate them entirely.
The study authors warn that: “increasing [diet soda intake] was associated with escalating abdominal obesity, a potential pathway for cardiometabolic risk in this aging population.”