News ID: 192787
Published: 0929 GMT May 15, 2017

Diet drinks, fizzy water lead to weight gain

Diet drinks, fizzy water lead to weight gain

Sparkling water and diet soft drinks could cause people to pile on the pounds rather than lose weight, a study said.

Many turn to carbonated spring water and low-calorie fizzy pop believing them to be a healthy alternative to sugary drinks, express.co.uk reported.

But scientists at the Palestinian Birzeit University said that the gassy drinks actually cause you to feel empty, leading to overeating and weight gain.

They claim this is because the carbon dioxide which gives such drinks their bubbles can trigger a hunger hormone called ghrelin.

The scientists looked at the effect in rats and found those given flat sugary drinks alongside their normal diet put on no more weight than those given still water.

But those given fizzy drinks — including zero-calorie versions containing artificial sweeteners — piled on the weight.

After three months the findings showed the rats given the fizzy drinks weighed significantly more than those given flat drinks.

After a year, the rats given fizzy drinks began showing signs of chronic obesity, with fat building up around their vital organs.

Tests also showed levels of ghrelin were ‘significantly higher’ in rats after ingesting a carbonated drink.

The researchers found sparkling water caused a similar spike in the hormone among humans.

The findings have caused alarm among health campaigners.

Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The Department of Health must now curb the use of any chemicals that impinge on health and that should include carbon dioxide.”

But Gavin Partington, director of The British Soft Drinks Association, said that the effects in humans was not sufficiently supported.

“It is bad science just to assume an outcome from a study on rats will be the same for humans.”

   
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