For many people, drinking the occasional diet soda is perfectly acceptable and harmless. But, there is a mindset that since it’s “diet” and “zero calories,” you can drink as much as you want with no repercussions. Not only is this untrue, you may be provoking a physical response that is completely the opposite of your intentions.
Past studies have shown that people who drink excessive amounts of diet soft drinks not only don’t lose weight, they actually gain weight. It may also be associated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
In 2005, there was an eight-year study out of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio on the effects of diet soda on weight. The study showed a 41 percent increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day.
While there were cautions from those findings by the authors, namely that diet soda may not be the cause but an indicator of what other kind of healthy habits take place, there are other studies that continue to point to the dangers of diet soda for diabetes.
According to a 2006 study from the Dartmouth Medical School, diet soda can increase blood glucose levels. The study found that people who drink more than one diet soda each day increased their A1C level 0.7 units. The study concluded that there is a correlation between drinking diet soda and glucose control.
Lastly, in 2020 the American Heart Association published a report that showed that diet soda caused an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome in middle aged adults. Again, the magic number was more than one daily diet soda. Metabolic syndrome is defined as a series of characteristics (waist size, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels) that increase the risk of developing an adverse health condition, such as diabetes.