Despite all the bad things you’ve heard by now about diet soda, maybe you still think it will help you lose weight.
But if you’re looking to get rid of that muffin top, it’s actually the last thing you want to drink.
A new study of 729 people 65 and older found that regular diet soda drinkers ended up with three times as much belly fat after nine years. And that’s the riskiest kind of fat, linked to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
And those who fared the worst were the ones who were overweight to begin with.
These people “are really in double or triple jeopardy,” said senior author Dr. Helen Hazuda. While they think they’re helping themselves, “it’s actually totally counterproductive.”
The new study seems to jibe with one done in Israel last year on both mice and nearly 400 humans. It found that the three most widely used non-caloric synthetic sweeteners altered gut bacteria in a way that resulted in increased glucose intolerance.
Hazuda also believes that artificial sweeteners fool our bodies. Instead of satisfying us, they actually cause us to crave sweeter and sweeter foods, she said.
Whatever the reason, this study is further evidence that diet drinks aren’t the magic weight-loss elixirs the ads make them out to be.
And that’s not even to mention the “side effects” that have been associated with aspartame, the main artificial sweetener they contain. Like migraines, dizziness, seizures and vision problems.
What should be clear is that drinking diet soda is a losing proposition.
When it comes to everything but your weight, that is.
“What diet soda does to belly fat” Mandy Oaklander, March 17, 2015, Time, time.com