Study: Diet Soda Increases the Risk of Diabetes. Why Do We Still Drink This Stuff?

By MAYS Latest Reply 2013-02-18 20:31:04 -0600
Started 2013-02-09 07:23:50 -0600

Yet another study confirms what people have been saying for ages: Stop drinking diet soda. Like, right now. Drinking just one 12-ounce can of an artificially sweetened fizzy drink per week can increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes by 33 percent, French researchers found. And given that most people don't stop at a single weekly serving, your real risk for diabetes could actually be much higher.

Diet Soda May Increase Risk of Depression

The study, which was announced Thursday and will be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was conducted by France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research and covered 66,118 middle-aged women whose dietary habits and health were tracked from 1993 to 2007.

Diet Soda May Be Making You Fat

The results were unexpected. Though it's well-known that people who consume a lot of sugar are more likely to develop diabetes, the researchers found that participants who drank "light" or "diet" soft drinks had a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who drank regular, sugar-filled sodas. Those who drank 100 percent natural squeezed fruit juices instead had no additional risk.

Women who choose artificially flavored soft drinks usually drink twice as many of them as women who choose regular soda or juice—2.8 glasses per week compared to 1.6 glasses. "Yet when an equal quantity is consumed, the risk of contracting diabetes is higher for 'light' or 'diet' drinks than for 'non-light' or 'non-diet' drinks," the researchers, epidemiologists Francoise Clavel-Chapelon and Guy Fagherazzi, said in a statement. Women who drank up to 500 milliliters (about 12 ounces) of artificially sweetened beverages per week were 33 percent more likely to develop the disease, and women who drank about 600 milliliters (about 20 ounces) per week had a 66 percent increase in risk.

Drinking sweetened beverages increases the risk of becoming overweight, which is itself a risk factor in developing diabetes. But the study didn't find that the results were the same even among overweight women. So how can artificially sweetened drinks be making the problem worse if they're fat- and calorie-free?

"With respect, in particular, to 'light' or 'diet' drinks, the relationship with diabetes can be explained partially by a greater craving for sugar in general by female consumers of this type of soft drink," the researchers explained. "Furthermore, aspartame, one of the main artificial sweeteners used today, causes an increase in glycaemia and consequently a rise in the insulin level in comparison to that produced by sucrose."

Translation: Drinking artificially sweetened drinks makes you crave other sweet things (hello, chocolate!). And your body reacts to aspartame—also known as NutraSweet and Equal—much in the same way that it reacts to plain old sugar.

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes—about 8.3 percent of the population. The disease is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people age 20 and older, and can also cause heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and damage to the nervous system. Type 2 diabetes—which can be controlled by diet and exercise rather than a daily insulin injection—is the most common form of diabetes in the United States.

The study's authors cautioned that more research was needed in order to prove a true causal link between diet sodas and Type 2 diabetes. "Information on beverage consumption was not updated during the follow-up, and dietary habits may have changed over time," they admitted in their report. "We cannot rule out that factors other than ASB [artificially sweetened beverages] are responsible for the association with diabetes."

14 replies

MrsCDogg 2013-02-18 20:31:04 -0600 Report

If diet soda causes diabetes then it makes sense that I am diabetic. I used to drink gallons of it. It would be at least 2-3 cans per day. Then it just got to the point that I didn't care for the taste. I'm not a big fan of big nasty fizz either. Gentle fizz is ok, kind of like what you have with kombucha. I'd just rather have water or decaf iced tea.

tabby9146 2013-02-10 15:18:07 -0600 Report

I prefer not to drink them now ,it's been a long time, I"d rather be safe than sorry. when I was first diagnosed I'd have a small diet Mountain Dew just half of it, and half the next day, but I did not drink a lot of them.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-02-09 17:21:21 -0600 Report

Mays I read this article yesterday all the way down to the almost disclaimer at the bottom of the article. This is why I pay no attention to these kinds of articles. I have never craved other sweet things simply because I drink diet soda. I usually crave food because I feel hungry after drinking them.

Many years ago drinking diet soda caused cellulite then cancer now diabetes. If science ruled out all of the things that cause heart problems, high cholesterol, cancer and diabetes, what would be left to eat?

jayabee52 2013-02-09 17:55:01 -0600 Report

Exactly because you feel hungry after drinking an ASB IS a reason why diet sodas are not good to drink, Joyce.

The body is expecting carbs long with that sweet taste and when that does not happen your body gets hungry and seeks carbs through food. Often times the person who gets hungry does not understand why they feel so hungry and sometimes they eat things they shouldn't. (not that YOU'D do that Joyce)

I've long since stopped drinking ASB because I recognized that fact. Just because diseases were hyped in days past being blamed on Artificial sweeteners that does not mean that THIS is incorrect also.

What would be left to eat? Good naturally grown food, is what.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-02-11 21:18:31 -0600 Report

I agree James, however at the times I do have a diet soda, I am usually hungry anyway. I find when I do get hungry I go for something healthy to eat.

Tony5657 2013-02-10 06:39:33 -0600 Report

Thanks James. I'd rather be on the side of caution than to just throw it up into the wind and take my chances. We all have that choice, daily and if we're wrong, we pay the consequences, daily.

I still return to saying that the natural, God created foods & beverages we consume are much better and safer for our bodies than the man-made, artificial, synthetic ones. So many studies have proven just that.

So I prefer the natural route for my body AND that doesn't mean I run around naked. LOL I mean natural foods, natural beverages & natural exercises for both my body and my mind, rather than the so called "safe" man-made, synthetic products and suggestions.

Tony5657 in New Braunfels, TX

re1ndeer 2013-02-09 08:54:55 -0600 Report

Thank you for the article and information. I personally do not drink diet sodas, or any thing diet. For one I don't like their taste. But, this was good information, Thank you.

Tony5657 2013-02-09 08:23:13 -0600 Report

Hey Mays,

Great minds think alike, right??? LOL About 2 hours ago I posted a link to your article above in Jeanette's discussion, (What kind of sweetner do you use?)

Thanks for posting the entire article AND for posting the video link …Tony5657 in New Braunfels, TX