DIET SODA


| 6 Comments

dietcoke.jpg

How many times have you heard bad things about diet soda?  I have heard how awful the chemicals are in it and how harmful it is to the body.  I have also heard many times that diet sodas cause weight gain, and when we talked about it in class we only talked about regular soda.  There is a lot of research to show that regular soda causes weight gain, but the research about diet soda is not as great.  Most websites say that diet soda causes weight gain, but one website I looked at stood out and said the opposite.  Science is far from conclusive on this topic.  This website noted that most of the news stories and blog posts about diet sodas causing weight gain came from the same few studies.  These studies include one done on rats by two people at Purdue University, and two other studies that follow people who drank soda over time.  Obesity researcher Barry Popkin, PhD, said that, "none of the studies makes a convincing case that no calorie sodas contribute to weight gain."  For example, one of the observational studies done was as followed... Researchers followed over 5,000 adults for 7-8 years.  The people who drank both sugar-sweetened and diet sodas gained weight, but the diet soda drinkers were more likely to become obese, and the more diet sodas the participants drank the greater their weight gain.  It was then concluded that diet sodas cause weight gain.  By the results of the study, this conclusion seems like it would work but further research is definitely needed.  What about a 3rd confounding variable?  The study was observational and the researchers didn't take into account other things that could have been causing the weight gain.  For example, did all the people who drank the diet soda have a similar characteristic or trait or do a certain activity that made them gain weight?


Website that diet soda does not cause weight gain-

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/diet-sodas-and-weight-gain-not-so-fast

Website that diet soda does cause weight gain-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/diet-soda-weight-gain_n_886409.html

6 Comments

This is very interesting because I always wondered if diet soda was ever really "diet." I found this article on the four side affects of diet soda. Did you know that diet soda can cause kidney damage, tooth enamel damage,and bone loss. It's scary how a drink can cause so many health problems. Also i found a second article that says that diet soda does indeed make you gain weight and along with that increases your chances to get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions. It' some scary stuff.

Here are the two article if you're interested.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20075358-10391704/new-study-is-wake-up-call-for-diet-soda-drinkers/

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/4-health-side-effects-of-diet-soda.html

I heard the same facts about Diet soda once on TV from a doctor. He said, and I quote "Drinking diet soda will make your waist line grow, 5 times fast then if you were drinking regular soda. There's nothing 'diet' about it."

Kimberly Snyder is a celebrity nutritionist, and best selling author. This is her blog:

http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2011/12/01/8-dangers-of-diet-soda/

Being an avid drinker of diet soda, I usually justify drinking it because it *seems* healthier than regular soda.

But one argument I've heard a lot is that the sugar substitute in diet soda actually causes you to want to eat more sugary drinks and foods. So while the soda itself won't cause you to gain weight, your increased cravings you get as a result of it might.

Another thing to keep in mind is that something doesn't have to make you gain weight to be unhealthy. The chemicals in diet soda (like phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate, and artificial sweeteners) have been thought to cause teeth and bone decay, mood swings, seizures, and maybe even cancer.


Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/210926-ingredients-in-diet-sodas/

I as well have been hearing how things that are diet aren’t really diet and it is no surprise to me that soda fits in this category. It’s a shame though that (as you stated) science isn’t conclusive on this topic because in the meantime people are getting hurt. This is similar to the bloodletting situation because a trusted method is being used for a much desired result but the method does harm to people rather than help them. In this case people who drink diet soda desire to weigh less and justify drinking it because there is a general belief that it is healthier than regular soda. In the situation with bloodletting science was able to provide enough data to stop people from being harmed. In this case science can do the same we just have to give it time for more experiments to be done.

From research that I did about this topic I found that (according to Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield) drinking diet soda can also lead to damaging DNA in the mitochondria. The reason why it can lead to this effect is because diet sodas contain preservatives called mold inhibitors. These are also known as sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate: you’ll probably be able to spot these in the ingredients on the diet soda cans/bottles. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it is just another chemical used to make the beverage taste so good though, they actually can hurt you.

Although the study where people were followed for over 7-8 years seems legitimate I agree with what you said about not enough studies being done to directly link diet soda with weight gain. There very well could be third confounding variables which we don’t think about.

Works Cited
1. Oaklander, Mandy. "7 Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda." Yahoo! Health. Prevention, 14 Sept. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. .

I've never been a fan of diet soda, mostly because of the taste, but also because it seems so unhealthy. To me, the idea of "diet" something just means that there are more added chemicals to make the drink taste good while still maintaining it's diet label. Could these excess chemicals be what is causing weight-gain, more so than the sugar in regular sodas? I think that's definitely something that should be looked in to. Would we see the same effect if sugar was taken out of regular soda and not replaced by anything at all? Hopefully research will continue to be done on this topic to help improve the nation's health.

I've never been a fan of diet soda, mostly because of the taste, but also because it seems so unhealthy. To me, the idea of "diet" something just means that there are more added chemicals to make the drink taste good while still maintaining it's diet label. Could these excess chemicals be what is causing weight-gain, more so than the sugar in regular sodas? I think that's definitely something that should be looked in to. Would we see the same effect if sugar was taken out of regular soda and not replaced by anything at all? Hopefully research will continue to be done on this topic to help improve the nation's health.

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