Stop with the Pop

Photo Illustration by Emilio Rodriguez / el Don

Photo Illustration by Emilio Rodriguez / el Don

Weight loss benefits seem to be misleading consumers into drinking more

By Angel Ramirez

Diet soda can make you fat, a new study reveals.

“There is a link between diet soda and weight gain,” said SAC Physician Rennee Yocam. “Typically it’s that diet soda can increase blood sugar levels, which does lead to some weight gain because of insulin resistance, but it also stimulates our appetite.”

For example, a 12-oz can of Diet Coke contains around 1.3 calories compared to 142 calories for a regular can of Coca-Cola.

But that doesn’t mean that Diet Coke is healthier.

Diet Coke contains a sweetener called aspartame, which has been under scrutiny for some time. Many question whether the FDA should have approved it.

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of adverse reactions to food additives, according to the FDA.

Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and death.

Drinking two or more diet sodas a day can lead to waist-size increases six times greater than for those who do not drink diet soda, according to a study from the University of Texas Health Science Center.

A related study on mice found that the artificial sweetener aspartame, which is used in many diet sodas, raised blood sugar levels in diabetes-prone mice.

One reason why diet soda causes weight gain could be that people think they can eat more if they drink diet soda, and end up overcompensating for the missing calories, a University of Texas study found.

“When we stimulate our appetites, we consume more calories,” Yocam said. “If we have an overabundance of calories, we start gaining weight.”

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