It’s that time in the morning where you go to Starbucks and pick up a coffee. But what do you put in it? There’s been a lot of talk recently about artificial sweeteners and their effects on the body. Some say sweeteners such as “Sweet ‘N Low’ and diet soda cause weight gain, others say they are carcinogens. Here is what professionals say and found.
A large study that followed a diverse group of 6,814 Americans ages 45 to 84 for at least five years found that those who drank diet soda at least once a day were at 67 percent greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t consume diet drinks, regardless of whether they gained weight or not, and at 36 percent greater risk of metabolic syndrome, which can be a precursor to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. There you have the risk for diabetes, but what about weight?
Another study followed thousands of residents of San Antonio, Tex., for 10 years and found those who drank more than 21 servings of diet drinks a week were at twice the risk of becoming overweight or obese, and the more diet soda people drank, the greater the risk. However, it is possible that the people who drank diet soda were more likely to have obese trends as researchers pointed out.
Even a professor from The University of Pittsburg is skeptical. He reviewed the evidence on nonnutritive sweeteners and concluded that the evidence linking them to metabolic problems was “not compelling.”
Although some are not convinced, it’s still important to be aware of the possible linkage. “Until we know more, we should use nonnutritive sweeteners in moderation. It should be a treat to have a diet soda, not something you drink all day long,” said M. Yanina Pepino, an assistant professor at Washington University School of Medicine’s Center for Human Nutrition.