Researchers followed healthy adults who either drank at least one diet soda daily or avoided drinking diet soda altogether. After measuring brain scan activity, researchers found that regularly drinking diet sodas inhibits activation in a key area of the brain that helps to regulate food intake. The more diet soda participants drank, the less their sweet sensors worked properly. The brain's ability to let them know they were full stopped working properly. The study results were published in In a study published in Physiology and Behavior, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3465626/)

Artificially sweetened beverage consumption has been linked to obesity. Study findings suggest that there are alterations in reward processing of sweet taste in individuals who regularly consume diet soda, and this is associated with the degree of consumption. Diet soda drinkers demonstrated greater activation to sweet taste in the dopaminergic midbrain (including ventral tegmental area) and right amygdala. Saccharin elicited a greater response in the right orbitofrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 47) relative to sucrose in non-diet soda drinkers. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3465626/)

According to a study at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio led by Sharon Fowler, the more people drank diet sodas, the more their waistlines expanded. Over a period of 9-10 years, older adults 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. Those who consumed two or more diet sodas per day increased their waist circumference five times more than those study participants who did not consume diet sodas. (http://www.livescience.com/50157-diet-soda-increased-waist.html)

2015 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported that people who drank diet soda gained almost triple the abdominal fat over nine years as those who didn’t drink diet soda. The study analyzed data from 749 people ages 65 and older who were asked, every couple of years, how many cans of soda they drank a day, and how many of those sodas were diet or regular. Those answers ended up being extremely predictive of abdominal-fat gain, even after the researchers adjusted for factors like diabetes, smoking, and levels of physical activity. People who didn’t drink diet soda gained about 0.8 in. around their waists over the study period, but people who drank diet soda daily gained 3.2 in. Those who fell in the middle — occasional drinkers of diet soda — gained about 1.8 in. (http://time.com/3746047/diet-soda-weight-gain/)

Sodas are a major cause of obesity. Water is the No. 1 choice when trying to lose weight. If you need taste, incorporate slices of fruit, such as lemons, oranges, or limes. Sodas, regular or diet, have no nutritional value. They contribute to obesity as well as diabetes, tooth decay and weakened bones. They have also been linked to depleting the body of vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium--all nutrients needed for healthy weight loss. (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/want-to-lose-weight-fast-cut-out-soda-from-your-diet.html)