Diet soda *may* make you fat. Prepare for shame.

Sir, until you put that diet soda down: You have literally nothing to smile about. Shame!
Sir, until you put that diet soda down: You have literally nothing to smile about. Shame!Courtesy tray
This is wonderful news! Not for you, obviously, but it is for me. You see, I don't drink diet soda, and I love to shame people for their diet choices, so this news is just perfect for me:

Drinking diet soda seems to be associated with weight gain.

Shame on you. Shame on you for drinking diet soda, shame on you for believing so foolishly that it would be part of a healthy diet plan, and shame on you for even trying to control your weight.


Why don't you just drink cool spring water, seasoned with a sprig of mint and a squeeze of lemon, like I do? That's nature's soda. Or are you too good for nature? No, you're not. Nature is too good for you. You know how I know? Because you drink diet soda, you shameful little shame shame.

It was good to get that out of the way. Didn't it feel nice? For me, I mean? It did.

As far as the research goes, it's one of those things where, despite the black and white, "Diet soda makes you fat" headlines (which I pretty much used here), the actual link between consuming pop with artificial sweeteners and human weight gain is pretty unclear. Researchers followed 474 subjects for ten years, and found that the people who consumed diet soda gained significantly more belly fat than those who did not drink diet soda. (The drinkers' waistlines grew about five times more than the non-drinkers' waistlines did.)

10 years seems like a decent length for the study, although I'm not sure if 474 is a very large number of participants. The main thing, however, is that this study doesn't show any actual mechanism behind the extra weight gain of diet soda drinkers. While there could be something in the artificial sweeteners themselves that encourages weight gain, it's also likely that the link is based more in behavior/psychology. Diet soda-drinkers could be substituting extra calories from other sources, because they avoided them in the soda. Or maybe they exercise less. Or perhaps they crave other sweet things, because of the sweetness of the soda.

As far as I can tell, too, the study compared diet soda drinkers to people who don't drink diet soda, not to people who drink soda sweetened with sugar or corn syrup, so it's not necessarily stating that diet sodas are a less healthy alternative to regular pop.

It could be that there's a causal link (that is to say, that artificial sweeteners are directly responsible for weight gain, as opposed to simply being associated with other behavior that causes weight gain). Artificial sweeteners do seem to have physiological effects on us, altering insulin secretion, gut pH, and appetite, and mice exposed to the artificial sweetener aspartame for three months were found to have higher blood sugar levels. But that doesn't mean that the diet sodas are for sure responsible for the weight gain in this study's participants. So, for now, take the research seriously to the extent that helps you be more conscious about the things you eat and drink I guess.

That's not the important thing, though. The important thing, of course, is that the study provides you with something to worry and feel bad about, and me with something to dangle over your head as I encourage those feelings in you.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Jimmy Curt's picture
Jimmy Curt says:

What substitute is available for caffene - especially if a person doesn't drink coffee or tea?

posted on Sun, 07/31/2011 - 1:14pm
Chaniya 's picture
Chaniya says:

a subsitutue for sugar in drinks is water

posted on Thu, 08/01/2013 - 2:49pm
Jorge's picture
Jorge says:

Water does not taste good when being mixed with drinks. Try only drinking water!

posted on Fri, 08/02/2013 - 9:18pm
shanannae's picture
shanannae says:

ths tells yo what diet soda does for you

posted on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:09pm
Afrocentric 's picture
Afrocentric says:

Never did like that stuff. Tasted to watery. What do you uys think?

posted on Fri, 04/25/2014 - 2:08pm
ian figlmiller's picture
ian figlmiller says:

i thought that diet drinks would be better than regular ones.its mcdonalds vs. burger king.burger king:better burgers.mcdonalds:fatty burgers.

posted on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 3:58pm
Wil's picture
Wil says:

Bottomline is you gonna get fat either way if you eat tooo much of either resturaunt....have a nice day lol

posted on Wed, 08/08/2012 - 3:37pm
Anonymas's picture
Anonymas says:

diet soda has no calories.....

it is essentially water with phenylalanine.


posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 7:18pm
Nikki's picture
Nikki says:


posted on Sun, 11/13/2011 - 3:25pm
Nichole's picture
Nichole says:

Wow! That is amazing that diet soda makes you gain weight. I really try to drink more water than i do soda.Now I really know that I am making a better choice.

posted on Thu, 11/17/2011 - 12:48pm
Mi-Mi623's picture
Mi-Mi623 says:

omg i drink diet soda for breakfast!!!!! IT IS SO YUMMMY!!!!!!

posted on Fri, 06/29/2012 - 3:31pm
;)'s picture
;) says:

I agree... but I try not to drink too much... I know it is bad for you!

posted on Fri, 08/02/2013 - 2:40pm
McGumfrey's picture
McGumfrey says:

[ul]Wow I drink diet soda 3 times a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mabey thats why im so fat![/ul]

posted on Thu, 11/08/2012 - 12:43pm
katya haak's picture
katya haak says:

I don't think it's the soda.i thik it's the diet but it would be healthier to drink less soda!

posted on Sun, 11/11/2012 - 1:29pm
Rylan Mede's picture
Rylan Mede says:

Sounds like you really hate diet cola JGordon :)
But anyway am with you on that, not only diet soda makes us gain weight, they also put that weight on your belly even though they have 0 calories. Along with other problems like diabetes and kidney sluggishness.
Healthy drinks like fresh orange juice or minty lemon could be a healthier alternative to avoid unhealthy weight gain.

posted on Mon, 11/12/2012 - 8:49am
Volleyballgirl1682's picture
Volleyballgirl1682 says:

So why does it say it's good for you and you should drink it....... So your saying evereytime i drink a diet soda i am actually getting fatter??????
I might as well drink regular pop, right???

posted on Wed, 11/14/2012 - 2:41pm
   r's picture
r says:

I always knew that diet soda had dangerous chemicals in it (thats why my parents did not let me drink it) but I did not know it could make you fat!!!!!!!!!!! People need to explain the fat in it

posted on Mon, 12/31/2012 - 4:11pm
qwerty's picture
qwerty says:

the bottemline is that you will get fat the good thing is that you get to drink soda

posted on Sat, 02/16/2013 - 2:14pm
Tom Ato's picture
Tom Ato says:

I like to drink water! It's MUCH healthie r than soda, pop, and all that jazz. Yeah. Drink H20!

posted on Mon, 06/17/2013 - 3:53pm
df6t9hyi0\iamondsytsyftstytagtyagyay's picture
df6t9hyi0\iamondsytsyftstytagtyagyay says:

i heart h2O

posted on Sun, 07/21/2013 - 2:15pm
chloe joy a.   's picture
chloe joy a. says:

this is really funny.................i think this is true, i know ALOT of people who drink diet coke and qestoin: after you drink diet coke, if you work it off immedently will it still make you fat? i am NOT a soda drinker and i have NO shame at all.
that is all.

posted on Wed, 10/09/2013 - 1:38pm
ut=[orr00uiioopopp's picture
ut=[orr00uiioopopp says:

i don not want to be FAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 10/12/2013 - 4:22pm
mystery  's picture
mystery says:

Everyone doesnt have to drink the same thing.

posted on Fri, 01/10/2014 - 10:44am
Faldin's picture
Faldin says:

I felt the same when I heard about a lot of people taking this up as a part of their diet plan. It is indeed very similar to those cans that are not labeled as diet. Anyways it is people who chose.

posted on Tue, 02/04/2014 - 6:38am

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