Study: Diet soda won’t help you lose weight

According to a new study, diet soda can be detrimental to your health.For those with careers in health care, like medical assisting and nursing, it’s important to keep up to date on new medical research so they can provide the best information possible to their patients. For college students who rely heavily on diet soda to stay awake during long study sessions, the latest findings may be particularly relevant: Diet soda won’t help you lose weight, and it may even have an adverse effect on your health.1

According to a study from Purdue University, frequent consumers of sugar substitutes (like those found in diet soda) can lead to an increased risk of excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.2

Susie Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences at Purdue and a behavioral neuroscientist, reviewed a number of studies to come to these conclusions. One study even found that diet sodas were just as detrimental to our health as regular pop.

Swithers hypothesized that there may be several factors contributing to these results, including the belief that the calories they saved from drinking diet soda can be used toward other things, like eating sweets. Another possibility is that drinking diet soda confuses the body because although we are consuming something sweet, it contains no calories or sugar, thereby making it difficult for our bodies to calculate how many calories they need.3

“The take-home message is for people to be much more mindful of how much sweetener, whether artificial or sugar, they’re actually consuming,” Swithers told The Indianapolis Star. “We’re talking about a health issue here. We’re not talking necessarily just about weight gain or weight loss … Science suggests that people who drink soda regularly end up with worse outcomes.”4

1 Rudavsky, Shari, The Indianapolis Star, ‘Think diet soda helps you lose weight? Not so, Purdue study finds,’ July 11, 2013 – http://www.indystar.com/article/20130710/LIFE02/307100065/Think-diet-soda-helps-you-lose-weight-Not-Purdue-study-finds
2 Swithers, Susan, Purdue University, ‘Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements,’ – http://download.cell.com/images/edimages/Trends/EndoMetabolism/tem_888.pdf
3 Swithers, Susan, Purdue University, ‘Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements,’ – http://download.cell.com/images/edimages/Trends/EndoMetabolism/tem_888.pdf
4 Rudavsky, Shari, The Indianapolis Star, ‘Think diet soda helps you lose weight? Not so, Purdue study finds,’ July 11, 2013 – http://www.indystar.com/article/20130710/LIFE02/307100065/Think-diet-soda-helps-you-lose-weight-Not-Purdue-study-finds