How diet soda makes you gain weight

Lesotho Times - - Health -

IF you think diet soda is a cure for weight gain, think again. A new study sug­gests that it not only doesn’t pro­tect against obe­sity, it might ac­tu­ally be driv­ing you to eat more junk food.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois at Ur­bana-champaign looked at the di­etary habits of more than 22 000 US adults, and dis­cov­ered that the more diet bev­er­ages you con­sume, the more of your daily calo­ries come from foods high in salt, sugar, fat and choles­terol. And it’s not be­cause you don’t know any bet­ter: oddly, the more ed­u­cated you are, the more likely you are to fall into the trap, the study found.

Although diet-bev­er­age drinkers con­sumed fewer over­all calo­ries each day than peo­ple who drank sug­ary drinks, a larger per­cent­age of their calo­ries came from junk foods.

The diet so­das seemed to be driv­ing them to eat more bad-for-you foods, ac­cord­ing to Univer­sity of Illi­nois ki­ne­si­ol­ogy and com­mu­nity health pro­fes­sor Ruopeng An. To get a de­fin­i­tive an­swer on the virtues and vices of diet soda, the ed­i­tors of Eat This, Not That! looked at the re­search and dis­cov­ered the truth about zero-calo­rie bev­er­ages.

Diet soda se­cret #1 It tricks you into think­ing you’re healthy

Be­cause choos­ing a zero-calo­rie bev­er­age gives you an in­stant health halo, you may be more likely to feel jus­ti­fied reach­ing for a bag of chips or a carb-heavy muf­fin, An says. “If peo­ple sim­ply sub­sti­tute diet bev­er­ages for sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages, it may not have the in­tended ef­fect be­cause they may just eat those calo­ries rather than drink them.” In fact, peo­ple who con­sume diet bev­er­ages tend to be less healthy, over­all, than peo­ple who do not, ac­cord­ing to an ear­lier study at the Univer­sity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Diet soda se­cret #2

Con­sum­ing su­per-sweet bev­er­ages may lead to a high pref­er­ence for sweet­ness over­all.

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