The results of a recently published longitudinal study, led by Drs. Ramachandran Vasan and Ravi Dhingra, indicate that regular consumption of soda (at least 1 can per day) is associated with an increased chance of developing risk factors for heart disease - including excess waist circumference, high blood pressure and elevated fasting glucose levels.
For the scientists, the surprise here isn't that consumption of regular soda promoted these risk factors -- prior research has shown this before -- but that diet soda is just as likely to put you at risk as regular soda.**
Diet soda. Zero calories. Zero sugar. People read this and tend to assume that this equates to zero problem . . . and fat loss (or zero fat gain) due to calorie restriction. And here's a study that reminds us that it would be wise to reconsider that assumption.
As I've written in the past, caloric content is not the only variable to consider as you choose food for consumption. Food quality is equally significant. You can't consistently ingest crap (read: processed and loaded with artificial sweeteners and other chemicals) and expect your body to function optimally, let alone at a base level of health.
An important perspective to remember, the next time you're struggling with a choice between Diet-X and diet water.
**Note -- This study is strictly observational -- further studies have to be performed to actually define the mechanism(s) by which diet soda links to the aforementioned risk factors for heart disease.