Hive Health Media

Diet Soda May Not Be Better For You After All

Startling revelations from a study that has been revealed by the American Diabetes Association at a meeting over last weekend show that diet soda is not as good for people as what has been advertised. Many people begin drinking diet sodas in an effort to lose weight and lower their sugar levels. However, the reverse may be the actual outcome.

Health Risks from Diet Soda

In a study conducted at the University of Texas, San Antonio shows that drinking diet soda leads to an overall increase in bodyweight. An even more startling revelation from this study shows that the artificial sweetening agents used in the diet soda may also bring about Type 2 diabetes.

This study has been an ongoing research for almost ten years. Researchers tracked a total of 474 people who all range in ages from 65 to 74. During the time that the data was collected it was found that the people who substituted diet soda into their diet over the full fizzed counterparts had a 70% increase in their waistline. With the added increase in weight, new health problems surface such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

One researcher wrote a scathing statement regarding diet sodas. They write, “The promotion of diet sodas as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised. They may be free of calories, but not of consequences.” These consequences are even more health problems.

The reason for this may not actually be linked to the diet soda, but with the brain. Previous research done in this area has shown that when the brain expects to have extra calories it will program the body to store calories it receives as fat. This is to make up for the sudden decrease in calories, as when someone begins drinking diet soda, or goes on a diet.

One other reason may be linked to the artificial sweetener used in the diet sodas. A second study was done, but this time it was on mice. Researchers fed twenty mice a regular diet while twenty others were given food that had aspartame in it. This is the same artificial sweetener found in most diet sodas. The results were eerily the same as the human group.

Opponents of this study argue back that those who gain the extra weight either consume more diet soda than they should or make up for the loss in calories in more high calorie foods. The researchers tend to agree, but only in the way that the sweeteners could be the culprit in triggering an increased appetite.

Yet another study at the University of Texas linked increased consumption of aspartame with an elevation in glucose levels. Dr. Gabriel Fernandes, a professor of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University said, “These results suggest that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels, and thus contribute to the associations observed between diet soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans.”

Even with all this research and information, sales of diet sodas continually increase with over 9.4 billion cases of diet soda sold in the U.S. alone.

Claire Al-Aufi is a contributing author for Hive Health Media who provides updates on health and fitness news.


  1. marystod

    June 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Demonizing Sugar, while exempting Aspartame & Neotame sweetened drinks is not an intelligent move, based on our contiguous 27 year study of the issue. Aspartame has been shown, in peer-reviewed Medical Journal studies, to cause weight gain and at least seven types of deadly cancers: Brain; Pancreas; Uterine: Breast; Leukemia; Lymphoma – along with Seizures and Parkinson-like Tremors, to name a few. Including at least 5 deaths on record with FDA, prior to 1987.
    The scientific evidence has grown greater each year, since Aspartame’s approval in 1981. Two and a half decades ago, Senate Hearings were conducted, many law suits have been settled out of Court (for undisclosed $$$$ amounts) and thousands of consumer adverse reaction reports are now on file with FDA and our Dallas/Washington based Aspartame Consumer Safety Network. 
    Years from now, we will look back on our use of Aspartame artificial sweeteners the way we see, in hindsight, the folly of ever thinking cigarettes were safe. Until then, we need to familiarize ourselves with both sides of the sweetener issue, while at the same time realizing that billions of dollars are at stake.
    The Sugar Lobby is multi-fragmented and pales in comparison with the gigantic Artificial Sweetener Lobby, which includes giant corporations like Monsanto. 
    Refined sugars are a ‘Quality of Life’ issue (much as white flour, white rice, etc.) Pharmaceutical-type sugars like Aspartame and Neotame are ‘Quantity of Life’ issues, meaning they are capable of causing death. BTW, there is not a single grain of granulated sugar in regular sodas for many decades.
    Mary Nash Stoddard/author Deadly Deception Story of Aspartame (Odenwald ’98)Founder Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline (since 1987)

  2. lance

    September 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

    About 6 years ago my 7 year old made a very profound statement. He said “dad diet coke makes you fat” I asked him why he said that. He responded, “Well just look at the people who drink it, there all fat!”
    I was funny to me at the time,but its almost completely true.

    • Amoxil

      October 25, 2011 at 5:22 am

      Sometimes, Kids do not lie.

  3. Amanda

    August 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I avoid diet drinks and artificial sweetners at all costs. They are terrible for you containing all of that acid- twice as much as regular soda. For regular sodas, they reduce cravings. So instead of eating a whole pan of brownies, drink a soda. I’ve also tried to not drink soda. But since beforehand I had been addicted to the caffiene and sugar, I just gained weight because I replaced soda with junkfood. I minimized my soda drinking to 2 sodas a week, and stick with water all the time.

  4. Grady Pruitt

    July 28, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I’ve been hearing for a while now that the sweetener in diet drinks are not that good for you. From the time I have spent waiting tables, one thing servers will notice is that most of the time (not always, but very frequently), the ones asking for diet sodas will usually drink several of them and tend to be at least a bit overweight anyway.

    Although I am not perfect in doing this, I have been trying to break away from sodas all together, and stick to drinking water. At home, I’m fairly good about this, but when I’m out, I do slip on this a bit. But usually, I’m drinking tea or something else non-carbonated.

    Whether it’s because people feel they have more “freedom” or not, I think it’s becoming clear that diet drinks are just not good for you.

  5. DrD

    July 6, 2011 at 7:56 am

    It is much more complicated than the diet soda itself. The total diet is the issue. Drinking a diet soda with a huge fatty meal doesn’t assist in weight loss.

    • Mentor Palokaj

      July 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      The fat is not the issue, this is hyped misinformation… The ketogenic diet in an example of how fat is in fact quite useful for weight loss…

  6. Tara

    July 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    It’s amazing to see how people assume there would be no consequences from ingesting artificial sweeteners. Surely if something tastes the exact same as sugar, yet you only need a tiny amount of it to get the same effect, there has to be something not quite right about it.
    So many people just choose to ignore the facts and stubbornly continue to believe their own misinformed opinions. I recently wrote a blog that deals with issues of denial in relation to sugar.

  7. Anita

    July 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Assuming that people are eating a neutral level of calories (not gaining or losing weight), I would be curious to know if drinking diet soda with a regular meal over time is worse than drinking a regular soda with that same meal over the same time period. Is this insulin boost still a problem when eating too and worse than the extra 200 calories in regular soda?

    • Mentor Palokaj

      July 6, 2011 at 12:30 am

      Just for the record, calories are a bogus measure… A calorie of fat, protein or carbohydrate is not the same…

  8. Real Scientist

    July 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Aspartame not only affects glucose levels in the blood, but causes cancer in mice! Go to and read about it:

    • Mentor Palokaj

      July 5, 2011 at 10:06 am

      Very true… I assumed this type of thing was common knowledge now. Guess I was too optimistic.

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