University of Texas - diet soda findings
- 07-06-2005, 12:47 PM
University of Texas - diet soda findings
Subject is still up for debate, no one seems to have a clear view.
BY DON FINLEY
San Antonio Express-News
Just when you thought the news about losing weight couldn't get any worse, try this: A review of 26 years of patient data found people who drink diet soft drinks were more likely to become overweight.
Not only that, but the more diet sodas they drank, the higher their risk of later becoming overweight or obese — 65 percent more likely for each diet drink per day.
The findings, the latest from the long-term San Antonio Heart Study, took even the researchers by surprise.
"I was baffled," said Sharon Fowler, a faculty associate at the University of Texas Health Science Center, who presented the data Saturday at the American Diabetes Association's 65th Annual Scientific Sessions in San Diego, Calif.
Researchers looked at questionnaires and medical records for 1,177 patients who began enrolling in the study in 1979. All had weights considered either normal or overweight, but not obese.
The volunteers were asked how many soft drinks per day they usually drank and whether they were regular or diet — or a combination of each. The researchers followed up with them over the years.
Drinking any soda — regular or diet — was linked to a higher risk of becoming overweight. But when the researchers adjusted the data to account for differences in age, sex and ethnicity, they found regular soft drinks had very little connection with serious weight gain.
Diet drinks, however, did.
The researchers are quick to point out their findings are not proof that drinking diet soft drinks causes people to become heavy. It could be as they began gaining weight, they switched from regular to diet drinks.
"People who were normal weight, one out of four of them at the time of our study were drinking diet drinks," Fowler said. "People who were overweight but not obese, one out of three of them were drinking the diet drinks. Definitely they were voting with their feet. They were obviously trying to avoid gaining further weight or repeating a family history."
However, the idea that diet sodas can lead to weight gain isn't new. Last year, a group from Purdue University found that when rats were fed the equivalent of diet soda, they ate more high-calorie food afterward than did rats fed the same amount of a drink sweetened with high-calorie sweetener.
The group hypothesized that the body regulates its energy needs through appetite and that it learns to associate sweetness with a lot of calories. But when fed artificially sweetened foods and drinks on a regular basis, the body figures it can no longer use taste to estimate calorie consumption. It assumes that it can eat all the sweets it wants, without consequences.
But noted obesity researcher Barry Popkin cautioned that the San Antonio researchers don't have enough information to draw conclusions about diet soft drink consumption and obesity risk.
"One needs to study in a complex, sequential way how earlier diet drink intake affects subsequent weight changes, but these scholars have not done that," said Popkin, head of nutrition epidemiology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
UTHSC's Fowler acknowledged the findings raise more questions than they answer. However, she pointed out that when people drink any kind of soda, it is instead of healthier beverages.
"I don't think it's a strong enough association to make a public health recommendation, but personally, I think people would be much healthier drinking water."
- 07-06-2005, 12:48 PM
...I wonder if they accounted for the fact that those who are fat are *obviously* more likely to drink diet sodas, in an attempt to lose weight, than those of normal weight?
EDIT: correlation is not causation. this study has no merit whatsoever.
07-06-2005, 03:33 PM
Diet soda doesn't make people fat, ****ty eating habits do. When I was a waiter it was great to see people who order the "diet" drinks, and then proceed to gorge themselves with other foods but it was ok....they were drinking diet soda
07-06-2005, 03:53 PM
Many years ago a buddy and I were hung over after a century club (yeah, smart I know...anyway) We stopped at a McD's on the way home. A very obese woman and her kids (also obese) came in and jumped the line.
My buddy immediately started making comments about her weight, etc. as he was in a bad mood and generally can be obnoxious.
So she started to order HUGE amounts of "food", if I remember it was like 6 big macs, a bunch of other stuff. And he turned to me, laughed and said "watch this -- a diet coke coming up" (as if to say the food was all for her)
I elbowed him in the ribs to shut up and then stood in disbelief and we busted out laughing because SHE DID say that, right on cue! And then turned to the kids to find out what they wanted to eat!
07-06-2005, 04:27 PM
That's true, people who drink diet soda often have little restraint when it comes to their other eating habits. However I will point to my previous assertion that diet soda sweetened with aspartame often causes weight gain, among many other conditions.
Even those who watch their diet and drink diet often look far less healthy than those that eat less refined foods. I'd also point out that if someone eats "diet" foods they are far more likely to ingest large amounts of ingredients, such as MSG, which acts similarly to aspartame and is similarly addictive, maltitol, lactitol, olestra (all cause intestinal problems) trans fats and numerous other "modified" ingredients. Better to just cut food intake and eat smaller portion, whole foods in meals more times during the day.
Coke knows aspartame is addictive. That's why their Diet Coke w/Splenda was pushed aside in marketing for Coke Zero sweetened with aspartame/ace K. Why introduce a new drink with an outdated and possibly toxic sweetener when everyone else is switching? It's because those drinking the Splenda sweetened drinks just don't show the same cravings for the drink that the aspartame drinkers do. It's about $$$$.
07-07-2005, 08:02 AM
No where in this study does it mention any particular artificial sweetner being tested so we should asssume all were since over the course of the study period aspartame, splenda, ace-K, and saccarhin have all been used in various diet drinks. And contrary to your beliefs, Splenda users do encounter the same sugar cravings.Originally Posted by Brooklyn
07-07-2005, 12:54 PM
07-07-2005, 07:06 PM
Not sugar cravings. Aspartame cravings. There was a message board AOL put up about a WebMD posted study on diet drinks causing weight gain. There were a ton of people who claimed that they were addicted to aspartame, and that sucralose/ace k sweetened drinks did not have the same effect. I've talked to a number of people who feel similarly, and when I used to chew sugarless gum like Orbit, I always wanted more of it and had frequent headaches and tiredness after chewing it.
07-08-2005, 01:38 AM
mercola.com is very harsh on the artificial sweetners and some of their reasons seem plausible. LOTS of testimonials claiming both Nutrasweet and Splenda caused harm...I've yet to see any hard science to back their claims though.
07-08-2005, 08:27 AM
07-08-2005, 12:19 PM
lol What, shilling for the evil healthy foods industry?Let's face it, aspartame haters have an agenda.
07-08-2005, 05:23 PM
My mom actually worked for Nutrasweet back when they were trying to get their FDA approval. There WAS a lot shilling coming form the sugar industry and the sacchrine industry trying to derail aspertame at that time..mid 80's.
On the flipside, Donald Rumsfeld was the vice CEO of GE Searle, the parent company of Nutrasweet and helped get it approved. Though I generally like Donald, he may have moved a few hurtles with his connections.
So far, I'm undecided about artificial sweetners and try to avoid them as well as excessive sugars. At least with sugars you know what you are getting for better and worse. I think there is some plausibility in Dr Mercola's statements that a novel sugar may or may not be recognized appropriately within the body..but time will tell.
08-12-2005, 03:28 PM
08-12-2005, 03:53 PM
My mom and stepdad have drank diet soda drinks for years and years. Absolutely nothing wrong has come of doing so. I could care less what people put in there bodies, I just know that neither myself or my kids will ever drink soda (I wish my wife wouldn't, but she is her own woman).
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