Obesity pertains to a condition that involves excessive weight gain and is generally associated with a body mass index of 30 or higher. Body mass index is a ratio of an individual’s weight in relation to height and this reflects the amount of fat in the body. Physicians and other health professionals use the body mass index as the tool in determining whether a person needs to watch the quality and quality of the diets he or she consumes on a regular basis.
People struggling with obesity are often asked to be more cautious with their food choices in their daily diets in order to prevent further weight gain. Obesity has been strongly associated with various medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Eating nutritious diets may also be coupled with regular exercise, which improves blood circulation, agility, and stamina.
One of the most famous trends in daily diets involves the consumption of diet soda as a substitute for regular soft drinks. These drinks often contain a lower amount of added sugar compared with regular soft drinks based on the use of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Since aspartame does not contain any sugar, then this sweetener will not increase the risk for obesity. A wide range of brands of diet soda currently exists in the market, allowing the consumer to continue enjoying his or her favorite drink without worrying about excessive weight gain or risk of obesity.
Although the trend in using diet soda has increased in the past decade, various groups in the government and the health sector have been debating on the effectiveness and safety of the diet sodas and in particular, the effects of aspartame in their drinks. In a recent medical report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the results of a study involving the effects of drinking diet soda in cancer was examined. Using a study population of nurses and other health professionals in the United States, the frequency of consuming aspartame-sweetened drinks in their daily diets was assessed. This study population has been used by various health and medical researchers to determine various trends and associations between diets and behavioral patterns to identify specific activities that may increase the risk of particular medical conditions, including cancer, obesity, and heart disease.
The health of the study participants were monitored for approximately 22 years and examined in terms of the frequency of drinking diet soda. At the end of the research study, the findings of the study showed an association between using aspartame-containing drinks in the daily diets and the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia. These blood and lymph disorders are considered as common blood cancers, which generally result in the abnormal activity of blood cells and lymph nodes and thus may affect the capacity of an individual to fight infection and the production of essential proteins for the body.
The results of the study showed that approximately 1,324 participants were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, 285 with multiple myeloma, and 339 with leukemia. Interestingly, these individuals were males who drank at least one serving of diet soda each day. It therefore appears that including diet soda in the regular diets may have increased the risk of producing these blood cancers.
Although the researchers of this study were unable to explain why only male study participants developed the blood cancers, the association of drinking diet soda has been shown to be statistically strong and thus this paves the way for further research on this matter. The results of this study also shows that certain measures in preventing weight gain and obesity, such as drinking diet soda, may not be as healthy and safe as we used to think. It may therefore be best and safest to simply include fruits and vegetables in most meals to prevent the development of obesity.
Related Reading: Aspartame vs. Sugar – Is One Any Better?