In a second study, also at UT in San Antonio, some mice were fed food containing aspartame, a common zero calorie sweetener. Ninety days later these mice had substantially higher blood sugar levels compared to a control group of mice who ate unsweetened food. This increase in blood sugar levels is a precursor to type II diabetes.
While the connection between aspartame and diabetes in mice is statistically significant, it is much more difficult to connect the consumption of diet sodas with weight gain in humans. Critics of the study point out that dieters are more likely to consume diet sodas than people who are already thin, making the human trail somewhat self-fulfilling. It has also been known that drinking artificial sweeteners is far less effective as satisfying hunger than sugary beverages, so diet soda drinkers may be more likely to eat other, less healthy foods rather be satisfied by their beverage.
Dr. Hazuda, professor of medicine at UT Heath Science in San Antonio said of diet sodas, "They may be free of calories, but not of consequences. I think that prudence would dictate drinking water."
So there you have it. Our precious diet sodas may not be the dieter's friend, but will it change your behavior? Click on the Comment button and let us know.