Think choosing no-calorie diet over the regular sugary soda is the smarter choice? Maybe not. A recent study found that diet sodas drinkers have larger waistlines than non-drinkers.
The study compared diet soda drinkers to a group of non-diet drinkers (including both regular soda fans and people who didn’t drink any soda). While all participants’ waists grew over the course of the 9.5-year study, the diet soda drinkers had 70 percent greater increases in belly bulge.
But the results were downright shocking when researchers looked only at people who drank two or more diet sodas per day. The increase in their waist circumference was five times greater than the increase for non-diet drinkers, found the team of researchers from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. (Researchers haven’t yet released the exact waist size numbers.)
While the study shows a connection between drinking diet soda and an increased waist circumference, it’s too soon to say that drinking diet causes belly bulge. Here’s what researchers believe might be going on
Explanation 1: Artificial Sweetness Tricks The Brain?
“Some studies suggest that when our taste buds sense sweetness, the body expects a calorie load to accompany it. When that doesn’t happen, it may cause us to overeat because we crave the energy rush our body was expecting,” says Cheryl Forberg R.D., author of Flavor First
Explanation 2: It’s a Sign of Larger Dietary Patterns?
Sometimes diet soda drinkers say their zero-calorie diet soda is negating or mitigating the harmful effects of fast food simply because the beverage has no calories