Diet Soda and Cancer

  • An industry-funded study claims that diet soda drinkers lose weight faster than those who don’t drink ANY soda at all
  • The study comes on the heels of rapid reductions in diet soda sales. Last year, diet Coke and diet Pepsi both dropped by nearly seven percent
  • Research over the last 30 years has repeatedly shown that artificially sweetened no- or low-calorie drinks and other “diet” foods tend to stimulate your appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain
  • Studies have also linked diet drinks and artificial sweeteners to a number of other, more serious health hazards, including increased risk of stroke and cancer
  • Artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking that it’s going to receive sugar (calories), but when the sugar doesn’t arrive, your body signals that it needs more, which results in carb craving

Research has repeatedly shown that artificially sweetened no- or low-calorie drinks and other “diet” foods tend to stimulateyour appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain. Artificial sweeteners basically trick your body into thinking that it’s going to receive sugar (calories), but when the sugar doesn’t arrive, your body signals that it needs more, which results in carb cravings. Most people give in to such cravings and end up overeating on other foods and snacks.

This connection between sweet taste alone and increased hunger can be found in the medical literature going back at least two decades. But artificial sweeteners also appear to produce a variety of metabolic dysfunctions that promote weight gain. Here’s a sampling of some of the studies published through the years, clearly refuting the beverage industry’s claims that diet soda aids weight loss:

Preventive Medicine, 198612 This study examined nearly 78,700 women aged 50-69 for one year. Artificial sweetener usage increased with relative weight, and users were significantly more likely to gain weight, compared to those who did not use artificial sweeteners—regardless of their initial weight. According to the researchers, the results “were not explicable by differences in food consumption patterns. The data do not support the hypothesis that long-term artificial sweetener use either helps weight loss or prevents weight gain.”
Physiology and Behavior, 198813 In this study, they determined that intense (no- or low-calorie) sweeteners can produce significant changes in appetite. Of the three sweeteners tested, aspartame produced the most pronounced effects.
Physiology and Behavior, 199014 Here, they found that aspartame had a time-dependent effect on appetite, “producing a transient decrease followed by a sustained increase in hunger ratings.”
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 199115 In a study of artificial sweeteners performed on college students, there was no evidence that artificial sweetener use was associated with a decrease in their overall sugar intake either.
International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders, 200416 This Purdue University study found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-calorie sweetened liquids. The researchers believe the experience of drinking artificially sweetened liquids disrupted the animals’ natural ability to compensate for the calories in the food.
San Antonio Heart Study, 200517 Data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study also showed that drinking diet soft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain – far more so than regular soda.18 On average, for each diet soft drink the participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.
Journal of Biology and Medicine, 201019 This study delves into the neurobiology of sugar cravings and summarizes the epidemiological and experimental evidence concerning the effect of artificial sweeteners on weight.

According to the authors: “[F]indings suggest that the calorie contained in natural sweeteners may trigger a response to keep the overall energy consumption constant. …Increasing evidence suggests that artificial sweeteners do not activate the food reward pathways in the same fashion as natural sweeteners… [A]rtificial sweeteners, precisely because they are sweet, encourage sugar craving and sugar dependence.”

Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 201020 This review offers a summary of epidemiological and experimental evidence concerning the effects of artificial sweeteners on weight, and explains those effects in light of the neurobiology of food reward. It also shows the correlation between increased usage of artificial sweeteners in food and drinks, and the corresponding rise in obesity.
Appetite, 201221 Here, researchers showed that saccharin and aspartame both cause greater weight gain than sugar, even when the total caloric intake remains similar.
Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 201322 This report highlights the fact that diet soda drinkers suffer the same exact health problems as those who opt for regular soda, such as excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.23, 24 The researchers speculate that frequent consumption of artificial sweeteners may induce metabolic derangements.

Published by

connie dello buono

Health educator, author and enterpreneur motherhealth@gmail.com or conniedbuono@gmail.com ; cell 408-854-1883 Helping families in the bay area by providing compassionate and live-in caregivers for homebound bay area seniors. Blogs at www.clubalthea.com Currently writing a self help and self cure ebook to help transform others in their journey to wellness, Healing within, transform inside and out. This is a compilation of topics Connie answered at quora.com and posts in this site.

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