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As a child, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to try the coveted fizzy drink known as soda. And when I was finally given a taste of the sugary liquid, I gagged. Soda was not what I thought it was going to be and studies are proving that it is definitely not what its manufacturers and advertisers make it out to be. Along with taking paint off of cars and leaching the calcium from your bones, diet soda has been linked to diabetes.
Diabetes Spreading to Young Adults and Children
Diabetes can be an autoimmune disease (Type I), develop during pregnancy (gestational) or be caused by diet, weight and lifestyle (Type II). Although soda and sugary drinks are not good for any of the above (or anyone), the studies focus on Type II diabetes, where the body becomes insulin resistant. The pancreas is usually producing enough insulin, but the body is unable to metabolize it.
The disease used to be limited to those who are older, obese, inactive and other certain ethnic backgrounds, but it is increasingly being diagnosed in young adults and children.
First Things First
Since about 80% of people with Type II diabetes are overweight, a study done by the University of Texas Health Science Center ironically claims that diet soda doesn’t actually help you lose weight. The center complied eight years of research to determine for each can of diet soda consumed, a person’s risk of obesity increased 41%.
People often mistake diet drinks for diets, says Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and nutrition consultant to college and professional sports teams and to the Pittsburgh Ballet. – Drink More Diet Soda, Gain More Weight?, By Daniel J. DeNoon
The study doesn’t wish to imply that diet soda causes obesity, but I think it’s clear that diet soda definitely doesn’t help you maintain your figure either. And, if you want the skinny on aspartame, proceed to our past article on this dangerous sweetener used in almost all diet sodas.
A 2007 study by Tufts University found insulin sensitivity in participants who drank diet soda, and in 2009, the University did follow up research determining that sugar-sweetened soda may promote insulin-resistant phenotypes or characteristics. The University of Texas Health Sciences Center claims that daily diet soda consumption gives one a 67% greater risk of developing Type II diabetes and a 36% greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is defined as a myriad of symptoms (low HDL, elevated triglycerides and obesity) that increases one’s risk of developing Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. I wasn’t a math major, but wouldn’t that make one’s risk 103%, since metabolic syndrome increases one’s risk of developing Type II diabetes.
With all of the numbers and statistics against diet soda, I’m glad my childhood palate didn’t develop a taste for the beverage. It’s enough that I continue to gag reading all of the detrimental research!
Corinne Kohrherr is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Board Certified Chinese Herbalist, Registered Nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist and DONA Certified Childbirth Doula. She is a holistic healthcare practitioner and lives in New York City with her dogs Martini and Olive.