Diet Soda: Is It Addictive?

March 28, 2012 Comments Off

There have been cases in the past where people have checked themselves into rehabilitation centers because of unusual addictions. However, when individual claims to be addicted to diet soda and checks himself into rehab, it would definitely be surprising for most people.

The Perceptions
It is a common perception among consumers of diet soda that it is not addictive. It is also perceived to be less harmful than regular soda. A lot of people who are conscious about their weight believe that diet soda will not cause weight problems.
Research and studies have presented a different picture altogether. They suggest that people who rarely consume diet soda are better able to limit themselves to just one. Those who consume diet soda on a more regular basis will down a minimum of 26 ounces per day while approximately 3% of diet soda consumers drink at least 4 per day.

Possible Causes
The only addictive ingredient in diet soda is said to be caffeine. However, the fact is that the quantity provided by diet soda is much less than that of coffee. Where a single cup of coffee contains 133 mgs of caffeine, diet soda only contains 47 mgs.
According to some experts, the only possible explanation for this addiction is habits. Consumption of diet soda becomes part of the daily routine which increases the level of dependency leading to the need for constant intake.

They suggest that the artificial sweeteners added to the diet soda might be responsible for triggering the addictive effect. Studies have also shown that there are only a few people who are able to differentiate between the taste of regular and diet soda. The taste could appeal to the reward system in the brain and therefore, the consumer could get addicted to it.

Effects on Health
The question that arises here is whether diet soda is harmful or not? The fact is that it does have an adverse impact on health. Those who consume diet soda daily are more prone to heart attacks and strokes. Other cardiovascular diseases can also be caused due to regular consumption.

Having two or more diet sodas daily can cause kidney trouble as well. It is said that women have a higher chance of facing this problem if they make consumption of diet soda, a habit. Blood pressure and diabetes become inevitable.
According to another research, women who extensively consume diet soda have a higher chance of giving birth to preterm babies. Daily consumption can even lead to weight gains, although experts have not yet derived a direct link between diet soda and obesity.

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