Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Does My Diet Drink Make Me Fat?

posted by Linda Mintle

When my diabetic father visited me in June, I stocked the refrigerator with cases of diet sodas per his request. Ever since he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, he has had at least one to two diet drinks a day and is 90 years old. Since the cans were at arms reach, I found myself drinking one a day, something I usually do not do because of the controversy involved in diet drinks possibly making us fat!

At a recent meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Texas presented data on elderly patients who drank two or more diet sodas a day. Compared to non- soda drinkers, their waist lines increased five times more!

Now, before you pour out that diet drink in your hand, consider this, “Do people who drink diet sodas eat more because they think they are saving calories by drinking diet drinks?” Certainly there is a psychological connection here. But as I noted in Lose It For Life, there may also be a physiological connection as well.

The work of epidemiologist Sharon Fowler has found that in rats, artificial sweeteners may affect hunger-regulating cells in the brain and raise blood sugar. While no causation has been established, she thinks a connection may exist and worries that there are consequences to using these artificial sweeteners that we have yet to understand.

Another study presented by Dr. Steven Greenberg compared diet sodas drinkers to non-diet soda drinkers in the New York area and found an increase in heart attack and stroke.

Finally, nutrition researcher, David Katz, MD at Yale believes diet sodas and other sweet tasting drinks and food condition our tastes to want more sweet stuff – a concern for weight gain as well.

But not all experts agree. Barry Popkin, Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill says the data just isn’t there to support the notion that diet drinks lead to weight gain. Other factors that relate to obesity and weight gain may be in play. Popkin’s own research found weight loss with diet drinks and restricted diet.

So what is the bottom line for those of wondering if we should pick up that sale carton of diet soda or reach for the case of water  instead?

Remember, drinking diet soda doesn’t counter overeating and lack of exercise

And a little more water couldn’t hurt any of us!

When we aren’t certain, I like to err on the conservative side.



  • http://Healthieralternative Laurie

    I enjoy buying a big jug of low sodium soda water and adding a little pomegranate or orange (or some other fruit juice) to it – and do not need to add sugar.

    I also grow mint in my garden – it grows like a weed – and love to make iced mint tea. If I add any sugar to it – it is a little bit of natural honey I buy from a local farmer, Herbie. I love drinking something that I have grown from scratch and that makes my garden prettier.

    Both alternatives are delicious, thirst quenching and healthy!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Stacy

    Even if it doesn’t add to your weight permanently you still have to think about the bloating and other effects that phosphoric acid has on your body. When I cut all sodas out I dropped from a size 14 to a size 10 in three weeks thanks to losing the bloat.

Previous Posts

Relatives Who Drink Too Much: How to Handle it
Question: We will be traveling to our relatives in another state for several family gatherings during Christmas. Two of my siblings are problem drinkers and I am not sure how to handle this with my family. We do not drink so my children are not used to seeing family members act up while under the in

posted 6:00:57am Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Christmas Shopping With Toddlers: Dr. Linda's 10 Tips
A reader asks: As much as I love to shop on-line, I prefer to tackle the masses during Christmas and head to the malls and store. My question is, “How can I shop with two little ones (ages two and four) and remain sane?” I will have to take them with me but really want to give it a try.  

posted 6:00:45am Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

What's Eating You This Holiday Season? Keep a Log and Find Out!
Joanne looked at the chocolate-covered donut in her hand. As she took her first bite, she wondered, "Why am I eating this? I''m not really hungry, but the plate of goodies sitting by the office coffee pot just looks good. Besides, my boss is making me crazy! But is there more to the story? F

posted 6:00:24am Dec. 16, 2014 | read full post »

10 Ideas to Avoid Depression During the Holidays
It's the most wonderful time of the year....well, not for everyone. Holidays can be difficult if you struggle with your mood and family issues. However, there are proactive ways to keep your spirit bright. 1) Don't overspend. Avoid being caught up in all the deals, discounts and e-shopping. Fi

posted 6:00:31am Dec. 12, 2014 | read full post »

6 Tips to Avoid Child Meltdowns During the Holidays
Are you dreading that trip in the car to grandparents? Is the hype of the holidays overstimulating your children? Too  much sugar, too little sleep? Try these 6 tips:   1) Routines and rituals: Try to keep as many going as you can. Even when you travel, insist on a regular bedti

posted 6:00:20am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.