Diet Soda Linked to Increased Belly Fat in Older Adults

Older adults who drink diet soda may experience greater increases in their waist size over a decade than those who do not drink diet soda, according to a new study.

Researchers found that the average increase in waist circumference among the people in the study who drank diet soda daily was more than triple that of the people who did not drink diet soda. Among the people who drank diet soda only occasionally, the increase was more than double that of those who did not drink diet soda.

“The more people drank diet sodas, the more their waistlines expanded,” said study author Sharon Fowler, a researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Over the nine-year study, the waist size of the people who didn’t drink any soda increased by an average of 0.8 inches. The average increase was 1.83 inches among those who drank diet soda occasionally, and 3.16 inches among those who drank it daily, according to the study.