My personal preference when it comes to soft drinks is diet soda. I like the idea of zero calories, however, I just prefer the taste of diet over regular soda. Soda is an extremely popular beverage for consumers in the United States. Coca Cola and Pepsi, being the top leaders in the soft drink industry, know how to make their products appealing to different types of consumers. Most people believe diet sodas to be the healthier option. However, diet sodas raise a red flag when it comes to overall health.
As we discussed in class, regular sodas are filled with sugars that can have health effects on your body. We looked at studies that showed how consuming regular soda leads to a two pound weight gain versus those who did not consume the soda. We know that switching from regular soda to diet soda reduces sugar and caloric intake, resulting in possible weight loss.
However, people who drink diet soda as an alternative to water, juice, etc., are more likely to be at risk for weight gain and obesity. Studies have shown that people that drink three or more diet sodas a day are almost twice as likely to gain weight.
Aside from possible weight gain, diet soda has brought up more interesting health effects. Researchers have been linking diet soda to metabolic syndrome and type two diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic risks that can lead to diabetes and abdominal obesity. An observational study was held by the food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Metabolic syndrome was studied by National Cholesterol Education Program criteria. Third variables were adjusted in the study, such as demographics and lifestyle. The researchers found that daily consumption of the diet soda had a significant increase of the risk of type two diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Since the data was observational, it is hard for us to believe that consuming diet soda daily is the only cause of the type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Third variables can have a huge affect on the type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome as well. Weight gain is another possibility. Eating unhealthy and not exercising are both variables that can have huge effects on weight.
Overall, scientists have done numerous studies that show that diet soda can have harmful effects on the body. The observational studies were done well, however, without being presented experimental data, it is hard to actually believe that the diet soda causes weight gain. A diet soda lover such as myself will continue on drinking them until more persuading evidence is presented.