A 20 year study carried out by the University of North Carolina showed that participants which consumed a Western diet and those which consumed diet soft drinks were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than those on a prudent diet without diet soft drinks.
The study followed over 4,000 people over the course of the study. The diets of participants were categorised as being a Western diet or a prudent diet. Western diets were deemed to be those containing higher amounts of fast food, pizza, snacks, meat and poultry. Prudent diets were those containing more vegetables, fruit, whole grains and fish. The study also assessed the role of diet soft drinks upon .
Metabolic syndrome is a precursor of type 2 diabetes that is characterised by weight gain around the waist, higher blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. 18 percent of participants on prudent diets which did not consume diet soft drinks finished the 20 year study with metabolic syndrome. This compares with 20 percent of those on prudent diets which consumed diet soft drinks and 32 percent of participants which ate a western diet.
Author of the study Dr Duffey states: “It is important that people consider the entirety of their diet before they consider switching to or adding diet beverages, because without doing so they may not realize the health benefits they were hoping to see.”

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