July 11th, 2013
09:45 AM ET
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Diet soda drinkers have the same health issues as those who drink regular soda, according to a new report published Wednesday.

Purdue University researchers reviewed a dozen studies published in past five years that examined the relationship between consuming diet soda and health outcomes for the report, published as an opinion piece in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. They say they were “shocked” by the results.

"Honestly, I thought that diet soda would be marginally better compared to regular soda in terms of health," said Susan Swithers, the report's author and a behavioral neuroscientist and professor of psychological sciences. “But in reality it has a counterintuitive effect.”

Artificial sweeteners in diet soda fulfill a person’s craving for a sweet taste, without the calories. But that's the problem, according to researchers. Think of it like crying wolf.

Fake sugar teases your body by pretending to give it real food. But when your body doesn't get the things it expects to get, it becomes confused on how to respond.

"You've messed up the whole system, so when you consume real sugar, your body doesn't know if it should try to process it because it's been tricked by the fake sugar so many times," says Swithers.

Read - Diet soda may do more harm than good

How I kicked my Coke habit

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Filed under: Childhood Obesity • Health News • Sip • Soft Drinks

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Personal Fitness Coach

    "You've messed up the whole system, so when you consume real sugar, your body doesn't know if it should try to process it because it's been tricked by the fake sugar so many times,"Stop drinking soda it's just as bad as smoking cigarettes.

    January 29, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
  2. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Remember them Doritos that had an "Anal Leakage" warning back in the late nineties? lol. You'll find a similar warning on the back of most diet sodas. I don not consume things with warning labels outside of properly cooking something.

    July 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Jerv


      July 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        More lol. Jerv would shoot the real me in one of those movie scenes with doppelgangers.

        July 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  3. Katrina

    On behalf of the Calorie Control Council and with experience as a Registered Dietitian, I assert there is no causal evidence that low-calorie sweeteners cause negative health concerns. Overweight or obese individuals who use low-calorie sweeteners may be doing so to lose weight or prevent weight gain, since low-calorie sweeteners can be part of a healthy and balanced diet. Also, low-calorie sweeteners are highly concentrated; therefore far less low-calorie sweetener is used to provide flavor to food and beverages. The level of sweet flavor should be similar across diet and regular foods and should not overwhelm bodily processes of metabolism. The consumption of low-calorie sweeteners has no effect on insulin and blood sugar, factors that play a major role in hunger and metabolism. http://bit.ly/17bVP7Z

    July 13, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  4. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Aspartame – I blame it. I drink ZEVIA – a no calorie soda sweetened solely with STEVIA. It's amazing and has tons of flavors. You certainly won't miss your cola!

    July 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  5. Thinking things through

    My favorite diet soda is plain old seltzer water. Add a squeeze of lemon, or lime, or fresh mint, and I am good to go. I bypass all those unpleasant things: sugar, HFCS, artificial sweetenings, stevia (which to me doesn't remotely taste like sugar, despite being natural).

    The study itself, as with nearly all these nutritional studies, is probably flawed and would need follow up work to verify. But I figure I got my bases covered, as described above. :)

    July 12, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
  6. Maureen Beach

    This is not a study; rather it is an opinion piece that overlooks the facts. The reality is low- and no-calorie sweeteners are among the most studied and reviewed food ingredients – having been declared safe over decades based on substantial, credible scientific research. In terms of weight loss and management, research has also proven that low-calorie sweeteners are a beneficial tool. For these reasons, low-calorie sweeteners are approved by regulatory agencies around the globe, as well as condoned by numerous health organizations.

    -Maureen Beach, American Beverage Association

    July 12, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Ed G.

      You earned your lobbyist pay today. Everybody else can follow the links to another CNN article and then to the Purdue University study.

      July 12, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • diabetesRD

      This is an opinion, not a study that brings to light new information. It ignores many other studies that prove the safety and benefits of sugar substitutes. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Diabetic Association and others have all issued statements supporting this fact. As with all things in life, moderation and balance are the key to better health. Blaming any one food ingredient for our obesity epidemic is simply not based in scientific fact. As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with over 30 years of experience, I can say that sugar substitutes are helpful for those controlling weight and blood sugars. I work closely with the Calorie Control Council and the vast majority of properly conducted studies confirm this.

      July 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  7. *

    Heh, heh, heh, um yeah, 1st!

    July 12, 2013 at 7:49 am |
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