Extra-calorie food makes you gain flab

Washington: A Loyola University obesity specialist has rebuked recent studies suggesting that diet sodas negatively impact your waistline.

According to Jessica Bartfield, MD, the extra-calorie food consumed along with diet soda is the main culprit behind people gaining a few pounds.

“I suspect that people are likely drinking those diet sodas to wash down high fat and high-calorie fast food or take-out meals, not as a complement to a healthy meal prepared at home or to quench a thirst after a tough workout, ” she said.

One of these studies, presented at the American Diabetes Association in June, associated diet soda consumption with a waistline size increase 70 percent greater than non-users.

Another study found that after three months of eating food containing aspartame, mice had higher blood sugar levels than rodents who ate regular food.

Researchers concluded that aspartame could trigger the appetite but not satisfy it, leading you to eat more in general.

“The association studies are significant and provocative, but don’t prove cause and effect,” said Bartfield.

“Although these studies controlled for many factors, such as age, physical activity, calories consumed and smoking, there are still a tremendous number of factors such as dietary patters, sleep, genetics, and medication use that account for the metabolic syndome/weight gain,” she added.

Bartfield, however, cautions people to keep it to one or two diet sodas per day.