My husband was telling me that drinking diet soda causes weight gain. Is this true?

There have been several studies released that suggest that the consumption of as little as one can of diet or regular soda a day may increase risk of metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes (Diabetes Care April 2009). The metabolic syndrome is a bundle of symptoms including excessive abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, high blood triglyceride and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, which is the “good” cholesterol. People that have three or more of these symptoms are at an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers are stating that they are not necessarily determining “causality” at this time, but merely sighting that there may be correlation between the metabolic syndrome and diet soda. Scientists speculate that the consumption of diet soda may increase craving for sweet things, which can lead to excess calorie consumption and weight gain. Consumers that drink increased amounts of diet soda may also have other unhealthy eating practices. Scientists feel that they may not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.

My clients will frequently tell me that they consume increased amounts of diet drinks in a day. Instead of having them quit “cold turkey”, I will help them to wean themselves off of the diet soda by substituting with water. The clients that do not like water are then challenged to utilize lemon or cucumber slices with the water to freshen the up the flavor. I suggest that they get a sturdy travel canister for their water; if it travels well and can be visible on their desk it is more likely to be consumed.

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