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Is Diet Soda the Reason for Increased Belly Fat in Older Adults?

A new study shows that older adults who drink diet soda may experience having bigger waist size than those adults who don’t drink diet soda.

“The more people drank diet sodas, the more their waistlines expanded,” explained study author Sharon Fowler.Is-Diet-Soda-the-Reason-for-Increased-Belly-Fat-in-Older-Adults-1

The average increase in waist size among the people who drink diet soda is more than triple that of people who don’t drink diet soda.

The study also shows that the waist size of people who don’t drink any type of soda is increased by an average of 0.8 inches. People who drink soda occasionally had an average increase of 1.83 inches and people who constantly drink soda had an average increase of 3.16 inches.

The research included 749 European Americans and Mexican Americans who were 65-years old when the research started. The researchers measured their height, waist and weight and asked them about their soda intake when the research started.

Researchers don’t have the exact reasons why drinking diet soda is linked to increased belly fat, but they think it’s because of the artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas.
Fowler thinks that people’s strategies to reduce or quit drinking soda might have some negative effects on their health.

“The more people can try to duplicate some of the things they love about diet sodas with something else that is really a whole food, the better,” explained Fowler.

Increased belly fat can cause inflammation and can raise the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. A study published in 2011 shows that people who drink soda every day have an increased risk of getting a heart attack and a stroke. Another study published in 2012 in the “Journal of General Internal Medicine” shows that there’s a link between daily soda consumption and heart attacks.