Diet soda tied to more belly fat in older adults

If you are an older adult and trying to lose weight, it might be a good idea to pass on diet soda and drink water instead. New research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society says there appears to be a link between regular diet soda consumption and an increase in belly fat.

The study, called the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA) and done at the University of Texas Health Science Center, was prompted by a trend in adults 65 and older suffering from metabolic syndrome--a combination of risk factors that could lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure--and heart disease.

Researchers recruited 749 Mexican and European-Americans, ages 65 and older and assessed their consumption of diet soda, waist circumference, height, and weight at the beginning of the study and followed up every few years for almost 10 years. They found that the increase in waist circumference of diet soda drinkers was almost triple the waist size increase among people who did not drink diet soda. Waist circumference increases were 0.80 inches for people who did not drink diet soda, 1.83 inches for occasional diet soda drinkers, and 3.16 inches for people who consumed diet soda daily during the study.

The scientists pointed out that increased belly fat raises the risk of multiple chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

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Sourced from: ScienceDaily, Diet soda linked to increases in belly fat in older adults