Drink More Diet Soda, Gain More Weight?
Overweight Risk Soars 41% With Each Daily Can of Diet Soft Drink
WebMD News Archive
Diet Soda No Smoking Gun continued...
"One possible part of the explanation is that people who see they are
beginning to gain weight may be more likely to switch from regular to diet
soda," Fowler suggests. "But despite their switching, their weight may
continue to grow for other reasons. So diet soft-drink use is a marker for
overweight and obesity."
Why? Nutrition expert Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, puts it in a nutshell.
"You have to look at what's on your plate, not just what's in your
glass," Bonci tells WebMD.
People often mistake diet drinks for diets, says Bonci, director of sports
nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and nutrition
consultant to college and professional sports teams and to the Pittsburgh
"A lot of people say, 'I am drinking a diet soft drink because that is
better for me. But soft drinks by themselves are not the root of America's
obesity problem," she says. "You can't go into a fast-food restaurant
and say, 'Oh, it's OK because I had diet soda.' If you don't do anything else
but switch to a diet soft drink, you are not going to lose weight."
The Mad Hatter Theory
"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice, very
"I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I
can't take more."
"You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter: "It's very easy to
take more than nothing." Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in
There is actually a way that diet drinks could contribute to weight gain,
She remembers being struck by the scene in Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland in which Alice is offended because she is offered tea but is
given none -- even though she hadn't asked for tea in the first place. So she
helps herself to tea and bread and butter.
That may be just what happens when we offer our bodies the sweet taste of
diet drinks, but give them no calories. Fowler points to a recent study in
which feeding artificial sweeteners to rat pups made them crave more calories
than animals fed real sugar.