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Is Diet Soda Bad for Your Diet?

With diet in the name, you’d think diet soda would have a positive impact on your waistline. Two recent studies, however, indicate that diet beverages may have the opposite effect.

In one study, researchers discovered that the more diet sodas a person drinks, the greater the likelihood he or she will become overweight or obese. The study, conducted by the University of Texas at San Antonio, indicated that for each diet soft drink consumed per day, participants were 65 percent more likely to become overweight and 41 percent more likely to become obese during the next eight years.

A second study from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health shows that adults who consume more than one diet or regular soft drink daily have more than a 40 percent chance of developing metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms — including large waist circumference and high blood pressure — that increases the risk of heart disease.

The Bottom Line

There are better alternatives to sodas of any kind.

“People don’t realize when they drink calorie-free diet sodas, they are wasting an opportunity to provide their body with nutrients and energy,” says Amy Goodson, M.S., R.D., L.D., registered dietitian at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital. “The goal should be to stay hydrated with beverages, such as water, low-fat milk or small quantities of pure juice, that have nutritional value and don’t contain a lot of calories.”

At one time or another, you might have experienced an unfortunate case of indigestion or mild diarrhea.

Fortunately, Carol Mallette, M.D., gastroenterologist on the medical staff at Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital and Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital, is here to answer your questions when it comes to matters of the stomach.

To find a physician to help meet your needs, call 1-888-4-HARRIS (1-888-442-7747).

To schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian who can help you meet your nutritional goals, call 1-888-4-HARRIS (1-888-442-7747).

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