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Diet drinks may lead to increased fat in older people

Think diet drinks are the smarter choice? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that diet drinks may cause weight gain in older people

Diet drinks may lead to increased fat in older people

Drinking diet soft drinks in the hope of losing weight? This new research may leave a bitter taste in your mouth (that isn’t due to the artificial sweeteners).

Research published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has shown a direct link between increased diet drink intake and greater abdominal obesity in adults aged 65 and above.

The findings tie in with previous studies on weight gain and diet soft drink. A 2011 study looked at 474 participants for nearly ten years. One of the researcher’s concluded:

“What we saw was that the more diet sodas a person drinks, the more weight they were likely to gain,” researchers concluded.

This recent study wanted to look at the effect of diet drinks on older people, as most studies have focused on younger groups. The findings were particularly galling – given that the increased belly fat associated with diet soft drink consumption can contribute to metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors that can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke, and is one of the results of the obesity epidemic.

It is of particular concern in the ageing population.

“Our study seeks to fill the age gap by exploring the adverse health effects of diet soda intake in individuals 65 years of age and older,” the lead author of the study, Sharon Fowler, MPH, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “The burden of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, along with healthcare costs, is great in the ever-increasing senior population.”

Previous research has shown that the intake of diet drinks and artificial sweeteners has risen, and so has the prevelence of obesity.

The study’s authors recommend that those who drink diet drinks daily, especially those who have a high risk of metabolic syndrome should work to curb their consumption of said drinks.


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