Saying goodbye to my DIET soda?

Yesterday was it. I’m quitting Diet Pepsi.

I’m doing this in support of our “Soda Free Summer” campaign, and also in light of some new information about what sweet sodas actually do to you…and by “you”, I mean “me.”

First, you may have heard recently on the news about Santa Clara County’s ongoing effort to convince more families to go soda-free this summer. What you may not know is that the VMC Foundation is the fiscal agent of this campaign, working with Kaiser, our public health department and the Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative.

The plan is simple: Educate folks about how sodas fuel the raging childhood obesity epidemic, can lead to diabetes and oh-by-the-way, have no nutritional value. A 20-oz bottle of Coke has 17 teaspoons of sugar! As Santa Clara County Board President Ken Yeager said on the news earlier this week, “It’s like opening your mouth and spooning in 17 teaspoons of sugar. Nobody in their right mind is going to do that.”

No, of course they wouldn’t (but they do). “But Chris,” I hear you saying, “You said you were giving up DIET sodas…they have no calories and no sugar!”

A Fair point. HOWEVER…it turns out that diet sodas have their own problems, beyond not really knowing what the artificial sweeteners do long-term. “When you drink that much ultra-sweet soda,” explains Dr. Rami Keisari, VMC pediatrician, “it seems your body gets used to and craves more sweets…and not just desserts, but also starches. They can make it very hard to lose weight.”

Now THAT is a problem I understand! And I know it’s true for me – I practically live on carbohydrates, and I can’t seem to stop.

So I’m putting down the diet sodas, which I’ve guzzled since High School. I’ll let you know if it helps me lose weight, and if you care to come along with me on this journey, let me know if it works for you. Together, let’s make it a SODA-FREE SUMMER!

4 replies
  1. bugs2bugs
    bugs2bugs says:

    This is a timely post for me. Last year I lost 25 lbs over a 4-month period after I joined Weight Watchers and gave up Diet Pepsi and other junk food. Since then I've slipped and gained back about 15 of the lbs I originally lost. Similar to what you're saying, I've read that because diet sodas actually taste sweeter to us than regular drinks, our bodies react as if that much sugar needs to be metabolized. In particular I read that the pancreas has issues with artificial sweeteners, increasing your risk of getting Type II diabetes. Thanks for talking about this–I'll look into signing up.

  2. Rene
    Rene says:

    Hi, I've been a Diabetic for approximately 13 years and although I have a good doctor they've never discouraged me from consuming diet drinks containing carbonation. In fact when I've walked into an appointment with a tall soda cup they've been quite relieved to find out it's diet soda. I just happened on the VMC website and found probable cause to be discouraged from this green light to consume diet drinks. I've been on insulin for approximately four of the thirteen years I've had the pleasure of owning this condition. Recently I received a referral to a nutritionist. Think I'll make the appointment call today. I have approximately 120 pounds I really need to get off of and now I'm seeing the diet soda as my possible enemy to that means. Thanks for the heads up. The truth shall set you free.


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