We can't seem to get away from the song and dance about sugar-laden beverages -- particularly soda -- being the culprit of the obesity epidemic. Diet sodas aren't exactly the answer, either, being that artificial sweeteners have a sneaky way of promoting weight gain, too. But now, researchers claim a third drawback of soda may be causing us to pack and hold onto unwanted pounds: Its carbonation.
The new study asserts that carbonation in sugary drinks can affect the brain's perception of sugar, making us think that our sugar consumption is less than it actually is. Plus, researchers claim a certain amount of bubbles keep the brain from being able to tell the difference between sweet from sugar and sweet from artificial sweeteners. What a mess!
While this may initially appear to be good news for diet drink fans -- because carbonation apparently makes a diet soda taste just as good as a regular one -- diet soda is anything but a magic bullet for weight loss! Not only is the jury out on the long-term effects of artificial sweetners, but research has found that not only did people who drank two or more diet sodas a day see their waist measurement expand five times more than people who didn't touch the stuff, but the fake sweetener aspartame caused higher blood sugar, triggered appetite, and also inhibited brain cells that help you know when you're full. Faaaantastic!
That said, it seems more resounding than ever before that regardless of it being regular or diet, swigging any sort of sweetened, carbonated beverage won't do your weight loss (or maintenance) efforts any favors. It sounds like a no-brainer but everyone would be better off to skip it and stick to water.
How do your soda drinking habits affect your weight?