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A new study published in Diabetes Care indicates that daily consumption of diet soda plays a key role in the development of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes.

The study, the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), was designed to test the association between diet soda and the overall risk of metabolic syndrome, the various components of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. The study confirmed the links.

Those people who consumed diet soda daily had a 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a huge 67% greater risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes. Drinking diet soda daily increased the risk of Type 2 diabetes regardless of initial obesity and changes during the study. When metabolic syndrome was looked at by individual components, only high fasting blood sugar and high waist circumference (central obesity )(men: 102 cm/39.78inches; women: 88 cm/34.3inches) were significantly correlated with daily consumption of diet soda.

The study participants were asked of their diet soda consumption and after adjusting for demographics, lifestyle and dietary differences, the results showed hazard ratios calculated for Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and the components of metabolic syndrome.

There were also some limitations of the study like observational design which precluded findings of causality, the possibility of unaccounted for differences in diet and lifestyle, difficulties accurately estimating intake of diet sodas and different artificial sweeteners.

The study authors in the end concluded that the stronger adverse associations existed between diet soda and Type 2 diabetes. Diet soda consumption, either independently or in conjunction with other dietary and lifestyle behaviors, may lead to weight gain, impaired glucose control, and eventual diabetes.

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I have some questions here. If diet soda is devoid of sugars, how can it play a key role in the development of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes? What ingredients in the diet soda are the true culprits? Should people drink only regular soda instead, or avoid soda altogether?
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Well, the culprits could be the notorious aspartame or even high fructose corn syrup that some experts believe may be more detrimental to health than table sugar and that it may be encouraging overconsumption of sugars.

I agree though that there is lack of information in the report they provided.
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