A dose of common sense for all those soda skeptics

If diet soda contributes to obesity (as I told you in last Tuesday’s Reality Health Check), just imagine the horrors regular soda can lead to. But really, it doesn’t even matter  whether they’re diet or regular. Either way, sodas lack hunger-controlling nutrients such as protein, fiber, and healthy fats–which means you’ll just start looking for a second snack later in the day.

But as crazy as it sounds, evidently some researchers still aren’t convinced that soda (even the regular, sugar-laden variety) makes you fat.

In a recent issue of the journal Obesity Reviews, a group of researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham did a thorough analysis of 12 randomized studies conducted thus far to try to determine the effect of sugary beverages on the obesity epidemic.

Apparently, six of the studies found that adults who drank the most sugary drinks gained the most weight. Duh! However, another set of studies in which people attempted to cut back on their soda consumption consistently showed no effect on body mass index (BMI)–no ups or downs on the scales, even among people who were overweight.

So researchers pointed to the need for even more studies.

Here’s what I think. Good, old-fashioned logical common sense tells us that sugar has empty calories, so it just makes sense that drinking a lot of sugar–in the form of soda, juice, or any other sweetened beverage–will make you fat. And as I mentioned last week, even drinking diet soda sets you up to eat more, because that sugary taste doesn’t really satisfy your hunger.

Skip the soda and opt for water instead. Your waistline–and your blood sugar–will be better off for it.