- Fizzy drinks are nutritionally empty
- These are also loaded with artificial sweeteners
- Fizzy drinks may activate the hunger-hormone called ghrelin
According to a report published by the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, with an increase in the introduction of artificial sweeteners in the American market, its usage also saw a significant upward trend. Population with a BMI > 30 also witnessed a consistent spike. "A rise in the percent of the American population who are obese coincides with an increase in the widespread use of non-caloric artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose," noted the study. Some of the commonly used artificial sweeteners would include saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and neotame.
Is sugar to blame?
In another interesting find, experts at the Palestinian Birzeit University blamed the fizz instead of the additional load of sugar. It was revealed that consuming aerated or fizzy drinks can make people feel empty which may lead to over-eating or binge-eating. The gas - carbon dioxide - used to add fizz to these drinks may activate the hunger-regulating hormone called Ghrelin.
The team carried out experiments on a rat module. A group of mice was given flat sugary drinks while the other group was on aerated drinks. It was found that those on flat sugary drinks put on no more weight than those given still water. Rats that were on fizzy drinks -- including zero-calorie versions containing artificial sweeteners -- put on weight significantly and also showed signs of chronic obesity. The levels of ghrelin were also found to be significantly higher in rats after ingesting a carbonated drink. A similar spike in ghrelin levels was found among human participants who consumed sparkling water, the research noted.
"Diet sodas are definitely not a diet product. It is just carbonated water mixed with a cocktail of chemicals and loaded with sugar. It has zero nutritive value and heaps of empty calories - an apt recipe for weight gain," Dr. Rupali Datta, Ex-Chief Nutritionist, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi.
"Diet soda is another evil food that is disguised as a low calorie food for weight loss. These are non-nutritive, intensely sweet synthetic substances. They completely alter your taste buds and make little difference in the battle of the bulge. Artificial sweeteners break down in your body and get stored as methanol - wood alcohol that may lead to headaches, vertigo, depression, blurred vision, memory loss and nausea. The very proof of how these drinks are ineffective is that even after it's widespread consumption the obesity epidemic is on the rise," Shilpa Arora ND, a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach.
Inputs from IANS