Middle-aged and older adults who drink diet soft drinks everyday may have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes, say researchers from the University of Texas in Houston.
In this new study, more than 5,000 U.S. adults recorded their consumption of diet soft drinks while researchers tracked weight gain, blood sugar fluctuations and other risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.
Overall, those who drank diet soft drinks every day were 67 percent more likely than those who did not to develop type 2 diabetes over the next several years.
They also had higher odds of blood sugar elevations and weight gain around the middle, according to the researchers.
It's thought that artificially sweetened drinks such as diet soft drinks may whet people's appetites for sweets, causing them to overindulge in sugary foods when given the chance.
The findings, published in the April 2009 issue of Diabetes Care, add to those from previous studies linking diet soda consumption to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for diabetes and heart disease that includes abdominal obesity, high blood sugar and high blood cholesterol levels.
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