What's the Deal With "Diet"?


| 6 Comments

A few weeks ago we talked in class about sugary drinks and how unhealthy they are for you. We looked at regular coke but what about diet drinks? I personally enjoy a Diet Pepsi every once and a while. I believe that it's healthier since it is technically zero calories. How bad can something be for your healthy if it's zero calories? Looking through some articles, it might be much worse for us than one would think. The following link has a great video to show seven bad side effects that diet soda has and why you should stop drinking it.

http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/7-side-effects-of-drinking-diet-soda

This video and article states some very interesting facts that one would not think go along with a "diet" drink. It states that these drinks are, "kickstarting kidney problems to adding inches to your waistline." These side effects are the complete opposite of what I thought would occur from drinking diet drinks. I am sure that many people are with me in that they drink diet drinks because they do not want the calories. I bet if they knew these side effects, they would definitely change their mind. Unfortunately though, the article states that, "Kids consume the stuff at more than double the rate of last decade, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." All of these side effects should be causing people to drink less diet drinks but clearly that is not the case.

This article and video bring up some great points as to why you should not drink diet sodas, but are American's really going to stop drinking them? I don't think so. I know I will continue to drink them because I personally have not seen these negative side effects. If these side effects are true, then why haven't I and some of my friends seen these side effects and looked like the people in the video? Diet soda has not been around that long so I wonder how long they have been researching these side effects. Maybe there are other variables that are helping to create these side effects. With these drinks being so new in the terms of research, I am not confident in that all these side effects are true. It will be interesting to see what information from research we get in a few more years when they have had more time to see the effects of diet soda.

6 Comments

Victoria,
I have heard that some "low-calorie" options are actually not good for you. Some of these foods include fat free milk and wheat bread. Fat free milk and wheat bread are so processed that they contain bad chemicals. I was unaware of diet soda though but I believe that it would be along the same lines as fat free milk and wheat bread. I disagree on how americans would take it though. I think that people have already cut back on soda because they are afraid of obesity. Especially parents feeding their chidden. Childhood obesity is very prevalent and I know that parents are being pressured to give their kids water and alternative beverages instead of soda. If you want more information here is a link that also proves that diet soda's are bad for you.
http://www.today.com/health/no-seriously-diet-sodas-are-terrible-you-too-4B11200933

I have never liked soda. My parents don't buy soda and if I had to choose I would rather drink water anyways. Even out to dinner, water is my go to drink. I'm not sure why but there's something so unappealing about drinking a coke. I feel like it's too sugary and all you're really consuming is gross sugars that linger on your teeth and create cavities. In the article, The Truth About Diet Drinks by Tanya Zuckerbrot, she discusses that although diet soda is better than regular soda, it still should not be your go to drink. A recent University of Texas study found that people who consumed two or more diet sodas a day had a six-times-greater increase in waist circumference over a 10 year period than people who didn't drink any dit soda. Although I've never been one to have to watch my weight, this idea that a sugary

drink can make you gain weight so fast grosses me out.

According to WebMD, diet drinks don't cause weight gain. These studies all seem to be based on correlational evidence though, so there may be another confounding variable affecting both the amount of diet soda you drink and the amount of weight you gain. For example, maybe people compensate for the fact that are drinking a zero calorie drink with more food or more unhealthy food. Overall, the evidence is not overwhelming enough for me to stop drinking my Diet Coke because I love it and am proud. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/diet-sodas-and-weight-gain-not-so-fast

One reason why I tend to stay away from diet soda is that it contains aspertame, which is an artificial sweetener used as a substitute for sugar. The health effects of aspertame are somewhat controversial as to whether any even exist, however, I feel it is noteworthy to mention them. Aspertame has been attributed to headaches and seizures in some extreme cases. It has also been shown to worsen chronic illnesses such as brain tumors, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. While I still drink diet soda occasionally, I do wonder about the risks of this sweetener.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/06/aspartame-most-dangerous-substance-added-to-food.aspx

I know that when I am between having a regular soda or a diet soda, I always opt for the diet. The DIET part makes it obviously appear as a good choice opposed to other drink options. As many people, including myself, experience no negative side effects and therefore, as it tends to be with everything, continue the behavior they are used to. Yet on a regular basis, I tend not to drink soda so do not know about much of the harmful side effects in general. Diet soda isn't the worst thing you could drink and still remains better than normal soda. In addition to diet soda, those zero-calorie sodas can also throw off your metabolism. They can both make you more full, keeping you from eating more calories, but there is a chance it is leaching calcium off your bones. It appears that unless you drink soda a majority of time, there will be no truly threatening effects. To read more about not just diet drinks, but also zero-calories ones, you can visit this article: http://www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-coach/bottom-line-diet-soda

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