Diet Drinks Linked To Weight Gain

Diet drinks have been in use for nearly four decades now. Millions of people all over the globe consume diet drinks based on the belief that they will not gain weight. Most of these diet drinks contain aspartame, an artificial sweetener that has seen much controversy over the last few years. Americans consume artificial sweeteners by the kilograms each year because they think they are saving themselves from the sugary weight gain that results from regular drinks. In fact both the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Foundation support the use of artificial sweeteners and diet colas.

While there is no question that diet colas contain less sugar as compared to regular colas, is it really true that they do not cause any weight gain?

A new study conducted by an international team of researchers suggests that we have all been falsely led by the manufacturers of these beverages into thinking that these drinks do not cause weight gain. The researchers analyzed studies on low calorie artificial sweeteners to determine if they really are “diet” drinks and will not result in weight gain.

Their analysis showed that not only was clinical evidence and data on artificial sweeteners ‘dodgy’ but in fact, people who consumed these products were more likely to have an increased body weight and risk factors for heart disease.

Recently PepsiCo stated that it was discontinuing the use of aspartame from Diet Pepsi after numerous customer complaints. Now the company has replaced it with another artificial sweetener known as Splenda. Many cola manufacturers are also responding to customer feedback and replacing artificial sweeteners because of concerns related to weight gain.

Over the past 5 years, there has been a major decline in the consumption of colas by Americans because the public no longer blindly embraces artificial sweeteners. However, there is still a significant amount of children and adults who do consume artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. Artificial sweeteners are also found in many other products like granola bars, candies and even low-fat yoghurt.

Study researchers report that there is no actual evidence that artificial sweeteners can help prevent weight gain or reduce the risk of heart disease. Most of the studies they analyzed revealed quite the opposite.

How artificial sweeteners increase body weight is still not clear. For now, these researchers suggest that consumers should not automatically assume that all artificially sweetened foods are better health alternatives. The best option to avoid weight gain is to not consume sugar at all, whether in the form or regular sugary drinks or so-called diet drinks that contain aspartame.

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