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Don't Be Fooled: Drinking Diet Soda Could Be Making You Fat

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You might want to rethink beating the 4 pm slump with a Diet Coke. According to new research, people who drink diet sodas also eat more cookies, ice cream and french fries.

The research, conducted out of the University of Illinois, examined the eating habits of 22,000 people.

Participants provided information about what they ate and beverages they consumed like coffee, tea, soda and alcohol on two separate days.

The findings? People who drank diet soda were also more likely to eat foods high in cholesterol, fat and calories and with little or no nutritional value.

The researchers believed this may be because people feel drinking zero-calorie beverages gives them permission to eat more junk. Lead researcher Ruopeng An explained,

It may be that people who consume diet beverages feel justified in eating more, so they reach for a muffin or a bag of chips. Or perhaps, in order to feel satisfied, they feel compelled to eat more of these high-calorie foods.

Don't despair! Although more research needs to be conducted on just how bad diet soda is for you, the general consensus is if you're going to drink soda, diet is probably the better choice.

Regular soda was strongly linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and there's no clear evidence diet soda causes any of this.

But if you ask me, you should probably just drink water.

Citations: Diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food study finds (Illinois News Bureau)