Evaluating your likely current (and near future) state of health means taking into account the risk factors — such as drinking low-calorie soft drinks — that affect you. Our medical diagnosis tool, The Analyst™, identifies major risk factors by asking the right questions.
Do you consume low-calorie soft drinks (artificially-sweetened)?
Possible responses:→ Never / rarely / don't know
→ About one drink a week or less
→ 2-6 drinks each week
→ 1-4 drinks each day
→ More than 4 drinks each day
2016: Studies found that drinking just 2 diet drinks a day more than doubled the risk of developing diabetes and drinking 5 or more sugar-free drinks a day increased the risk by 4.5 times.
Several large studies have found that drinking diet soda actually increases waist size and long-term weight gain. It is theorized that artificial sweeteners trigger sweetness receptors in the brain, which cause the body to prepare itself for an influx of calories. These calories never arrive, confusing our bodies and weakening the link in our brains between sweetness and calories.
Other studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may alter gut bacteria in ways that make us vulnerable to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, both of which can lead to weight gain.
2008: A study that followed 3,600 subjects for 7-8 years reported that body mass index and the risk of obesity rose consistently the more artificially sweetened drinks a person consumed.
2015: A study at the University of Texas that followed 749 subjects for 9 years and was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that those who drank at least one diet drink a day added a minimum of 3 inches to their waistlines, whereas those who drank no diet drinks at all gained less than 1 inch on average.
2017: A study at Yale University found that when diet drinks or foods are consumed, the brain misreads the number of calories present and reduces metabolism. In other words, the body stops burning energy from food if there is a mismatch between food sweetness and calories.
Predictably, studies backed by the beverage industry disagree with these findings.