All about each symptom of menopause
women going through menopause

Diet Soda Leads to Weight Gain

Review on June 05, 2009

In a cruel, or perhaps just ironic, twist of fate, a recent study has proven that diet soda drinkers are in fact more likely to succumb to weight gain than their sugary soda-drinking brethren. This can be of particular concern to middle aged women, who are more likely not only to drink diet soda but are also more prone to weight gain as premenopause sets in.

Weight gain diet soda

Researcher Sharon P. Fowler spent eight years in a far-ranging study detailing the effects of both diet and regular soda. Naturally the researchers were unsurprised to find consumption of regular soda leading to weight gain, but it did come as unexpected news that the diet soda drinkers experienced a far greater incidence of weight gain or obesity over an extended period of time. Fowler's team discovered that a person's likelihood of experiencing weight gain increased a shocking 41% for each can or bottle of diet soda consumed per day.

There is no particular substance in the diet soda that causes this weight gain, as they are virtually calorie-free. Researchers and psychologists have several theories for what may make a person who drinks diet soda more susceptible to weight gain. One reason is that those consumers who would be more likely t o seek out a diet soda would have a tendency to think they have a need to be on a diet, as in, they may already be overweight and not know how to properly diet. By substituting diet soda for regular, they might then be more reckless in their eating habits, leading to overall weight gain.

Another theory is that by giving the body artificial sweeteners, it could actually induce a craving for real sugar and empty calories. This could cause a consumer of diet sodas to in fact eat more sugary substances without realizing it, again, leading to weight gain and/or obesity.

Either way, such a massive study should not be taken lightly. Diet sodas should not be used as a real dietary aid. The best way to prevent weight gain is to cut out soda of both types entirely, and to combine a balanced diet with moderate exercise.

Sources:
  • De Vries, Lloyd. "Diet Soda Drinkers Gain Weight," CBS News, June 2005.
  • "Drink More Diet Soda, Gain More Weight?" Web MD, June 2005.