New research has concluded that soft diet drinks may not help you in your fight against weight gain.
The study by the American Diabetes Association found that diet drinks were associated with wider not trimmer waists in humans. A related study discovered that the artificial sweetener Aspartame (added to diet drinks) raised blood sugar in mice prone to diabetes.
"Data from this and other prospective studies suggest that the promotion of diet drinks and artificial sweeteners as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised," said study researcher Helen P. Hazuda Ph.D. "They may be free of calories but not of consequences," she added.
The researchers collected height, weight, waist circumference and diet drinks intake data from 474 elderly adults. They were followed up an average of 9.5 years later. They found that the low calorie drinkers had waist circumferences 70 percent greater than non-diet drinkers. Also that people who drank diet drinks frequently, at least two diet drinks a day, had waist circumferences that were 500 percent greater than people who didn't drink any diet drinks.
Artificial sugar didn't produce any better results in the related second study in mice. Researchers for this study found that diabetes-prone mice that were fed a diet that included aspartame for three months, had higher blood glucose levels than mice not given aspartame.
The story does not does not end there. Early earlier this month research by the University of Bangor in Ireland found that sugary drinks can lead to a "dulled sensitivity to sweet tastes." resulting in a greater craving the sweet products. "As the sweet 'treat' becomes less rewarding, so people tend to look for more sweet food to drink, and a vicious circle of eating sweet and calorie-laden food is established", said Dr. Hans-Peter Kubis, one of the study's authors.