Does Drinking Diet Soda Cause Weight Gain?


Obesity rates in the United States have actually increased considerably in the past 25 years. The Centers for Illness Control and Prevention report that in 1985, less than 14 percent of Americans were obese. In 2009, that number had actually enhanced to greater than 25 percent in many states with some states have more than 30 percent of their population in the obese classification. Qing Yang, analyst and M.D. / Ph.D. prospect from the Yale University School of Medicine, reports that the increase in weight problems has actually coincided with the increase in consumption of sweetening agents such as those discovered in diet soda.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners are food additives that supply a sweet taste without calories. The Fda evaluates these sweeteners and has accepted 5 for use. The authorized sweeteners are acesulfame K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin and sucralose. The American Dietetic Association reports that non-nutritive sweeteners can be valuable in weight management. However, some study indicates that using these sweeteners might in fact lead to weight gain.

Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain

Calorie-free artificial sweeteners need to aid in fat burning. However, Yang reports that artificial sweeteners could actually have the opposite effect. According to Yang, the San Antonio Heart Study, carried out from 1979 to 1988 and re-examined in 1995, concluded that participants consuming artificial sweeteners had higher body mass index than those who did not. BMI is a tool used to measure your overweight or obesity level. In addition, adolescents that changed to diet drinks from sugar-sweetened beverages didn’t have a reduction in BMI after 25 weeks except the heaviest individuals as reported in ‘Pediatrics.’

Artificial Sweeteners and Energy Intake

Sweet tasting foods and drinks increase your hunger whether the sweet originates from actual sugar or from a sugar-substitute, according to Yang. When rats are provided saccharin supplements, their overall energy intake increases and they gain even more weight than those rats provided glucose supplements as reported by Swithers and Davidson in the journal of Behavioral Neuroscience. So, you could overcompensate for the lack of calories from sweetening agents leading to greater calorie intake, which might lead to weight gain.

Diet Soda and Weight

Dr. Adam Drewnowski, director of the Univeristy of Washington Center for Public Wellness Nutrition, reports that weight loss needs minimizing your caloric consumption and increasing exercise. According to Drewnowski, sweetening agents can help decrease your total calorie consumption. Yang reports that artificial sweeteners can increase your yearning for sugar and lead you to eat way too much in order to please your food benefit pathway. While diet soda doesn’t in fact contribute calories, it may trigger your body to long for more sweet foods and if you indulge, weight gain is more likely to take place.