Food Therapy

Does Diet Soda Make You Fat? 3 Main Medical Complications due to Diet Drinks


Many athletes and figure-conscious people are increasingly turning to the “light”, “zero” or “diet” versions of soft drinks and energy drinks. Why actually? Probably because these drinks promise to contain no sugar and are therefore calorie-free. This article addresses the question, “does diet soda make you fat?”

In recent times, calories rich food has become a taboo because of the research and awareness in the fields of nutrition and medical sciences. Most beverage companies have used this food psychology for the benefit of their product marketing. But the general population and media never ask those companies does diet soda make you fat.

On the website of Coca-Cola, for example, it says that the different taste nuances of Coke Zero and Coca-Cola light result from the different compositions of sweeteners and flavors. But the most important thing is: Both Coca-Cola light and Coke zero are without sugar and therefore also without calories. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? 

Do you also like soft drinks and energy drinks, but want to avoid consuming unnecessary calories to build up as little body fat as possible through drinks? And that’s why you like to have light soft drinks, zero drinks, or diet drinks. But have you ever researched or asked yourself, does diet soda make you fat?

Then we, unfortunately, have to disappoint you, because exactly this argument is a big misconception. Although the beverage industry promises “full taste – without sugar and calories”, drinks with the addition “light”, “zero” or “diet” led to obesity and particularly unhealthy belly fat.

Misrepresentation of Facts

Why is that? Because of their taste, the artificial sweeteners contained in the drinks trick your body into thinking that they are supplying you with sugar in the form of “real” sugar – but in reality, there is no supply. Since no calories are consumed, your body reacts with cravings for sweets. 

Diet Drinks and Medical Complications

Does diet soda make you fat
Does Diet Soda Make You Fat?

More Belly Fat with Diet Drinks

To answer the question, does diet soda make you fat? In long-term studies, it was found that people who regularly consume diet drinks built up a full eight centimeters of so-called visceral fat (belly fat), which is more than four times as much as in people who rarely or never consume light soft drinks. 

For the soft drink analysis, the University of Texas conducted studies on over 700 subjects. All participants were regularly weighed, measured, and asked about their eating habits. Some kept their weight stable, others gained weight despite (or because of) consuming diet soda.

In all subjects, however, the waist circumference changed for the worse. The researchers concluded that diet soda with artificial sweeteners redistributes body fat so that it accumulates more around the internal organs and midsection. 

This is hugely unhealthy because belly fat promotes cardiovascular disease and diabetes. To put it bluntly, one could say, “Better a fat bottom than a fat belly”. Therefore, answering the very question “does diet soda make you fat”.

The changes in visceral fat gain in the subjects can be summarized as follows:

  • Daily consumption of diet drinks: 8 cm more belly fat.
  • Occasional consumption of diet drinks: 4.6 cm more belly fat.
  • Avoiding diet drinks: 2 cm more belly fat. 

Artificial Sweeteners Create Confusion

American scientists have now found out in a study that those who drink a lot of low-calorie drinks tend to have a larger waist circumference. Study participants who often resorted to special diet drinks gained almost three times as much belly fat over nine years than those who avoided the diet drinks.

The main problem lies in the fact that artificial sweeteners fool the body into thinking it is being supplied with calories, but then do not trigger a feeling of satiety. This increases the risk of cravings and can promote obesity in the long term. Belly fat in particular is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and arteriosclerosis.

Therefore, answering the title question of “does diet soda make you fat?”, we would reply that it not only makes you fat but is a gateway to several other diseases. 

Diet Drinks Vs Regular Drinks
Diet Drinks Vs Regular Drinks,

Hormone Balance is Upside Down 

Synthetic sweeteners are also suspected of being able to mess up the hormonal balance. In long-term studies, it was found that girls who regularly consumed light drinks got their periods earlier.

Similarly, the diet sodas must be avoided for pregnant women, whose nutrition is not just imoportant for them but also for the fetus.

Avoid Soft Drinks 

What do we (and the Texas scientists) conclude from this? Does the diet drink make you fat? Are soft drinks healthy enough? Soft drinks are generally unhealthy, regardless of whether they are in the “regular” version with real sugar or as a “light”, “zero” or “diet” drink. 

If real sugar is included instead of synthetic sweeteners, you’re also getting a lot of empty calories that don’t provide your body with any nutrients. This in turn promotes obesity and makes you fat. Therefore, it is best to stay away from soft drinks and energy drinks and only treat yourself to them in exceptional cases.

Healthy Alternatives

There are plenty of healthy alternatives that are also sugar-free, have no (or few) calories, and naturally stimulate your body:

  • Unsweetened coffee.
  • Unsweetened herbal tea, green tea, and black tea.
  • Tap water and mineral water.
  • Tap water or mineral water with a dash of fruit juice.
  • Lemonade with a slight touch of sugar and salt.

So now you know the answer to the question, “does diet soda make you fat”. Diet, zero, and diet drinks may not have any calories, but they still have serious consequences.

Does diet soda make you fat?

Yes, it does make us fat.

Does diet soda make you fat? If yes then how?

Diet soda makes you fat by redistributing the fats of the body and accumulating them in the abdominal region.

Does diet soda make you fat? If yes then which should be avoided? Colored or transparent?

No matter if it is a colored diet drink or a transparent one. Both are hazardous. Nevertheless, colored one contains food colors that can additionally cause health problems.

Should we never drink diet soda?

You may drink diet soda rarely. Try to avoid soft drinks altogether, no matter diet or regular.

What are the health benefits of diet soda?

There are no health benefits of diet soda at all.

Can diabetic patients drink diet soda?

Yes, they can occionally drink it as it does not contain sugar. But they must be careful not to overdo because the result can be an increase in sweet craving and body fats.

Diet Coke
Diet Coke.


The short answer to the question, “does diet soda make you fat” is “Yes”. Not only diet but regular sodas or beverages make you fat. Issue with the diet soda lies in it’s body tricking as stated in the article. Also, the diet soda can alter the body’s hormonal balance which can result in futher medical complications.

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