Diet soda, it turns out, may not be the panacea for weight loss that we all thought — and many of us hoped — it was.
In fact, a Purdue University study has found that diet sodas may be linked to a number of health problems from obesity to diabetes to heart disease, just like their more sugary counterparts.
Susie Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences and a behavioral neuroscientist, reviewed a number of recent studies looking at whether drinking diet soft drinks over the long-term increases the likelihood that a person will overeat, gain weight and then develop other health problems.
Obesity means having too much body fat. It is not the same as being overweight, which means weighing too much. A person may be overweight from extra muscle, bone, or water, as well as from having too much fat.
Both terms mean that a person’s weight is higher than what is thought to be healthy for his or her height.
Taking in more calories than you burn can lead to obesity because the body stores unused calories as fat. Obesity can be caused by:
- Eating more food than your body can use
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Not getting enough exercise
Many obese people who lose large amounts of weight and gain it back think it is their fault. They blame themselves for not having the willpower to keep the weight off. Many people regain more weight than they lost.
Today, we know that biology is a big reason why some people cannot keep the weight off.