This Common Beverage is Increasing Your Waist by 70%…

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

April 12, 2013

  • Coke adds life… or not
  • The hidden truth about soft drinks
  • Tricky ways to beat the soda habit

When I was a kid, people didn’t drink soda the way they do these days.

Back then soft drinks were a special treat. They were reserved for a day at the movie theater, picnics, backyard barbeques, ballgames and pizza parties. Chalk it all up and that accounted for maybe 20 or 25 twelve-ounce sodas a year.

Nowadays, people drink them every single day. Sometimes two or three times a day. And these days they aren’t just selling twelve-ounce bottles or cans of the stuff. It’s being sold in “super-size-me” portions of 32 ounces or more.

If you’ve been watching the news, you know this excess cola consumption is being blamed as the number one reason for today’s diabetes and obesity epidemics.

It’s becoming so widespread that even Coca-Cola is jumping on the bandwagon. They just recently launched their new anti-obesity campaign. The commercials started airing this past January.

In the past, Coke has had many slogans. “Coke adds life.” “It’s the real thing.” “Life begins here.”

Now, in a rush of concern over the obesity epidemic, their latest tagline is “Coming together” to fight obesity. The new commercials tell you Coke is going to protect your health by selling “smaller portion sizes and offering more low- and no-calorie choices.”

Truth is, it doesn’t matter how big or small the cans are. The ingredients are the same. They’re still going to pump your body full of fattening calories that have absolutely no nutritional value… and disrupt your sugar metabolism at the same time.

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And if you think choosing low- and no-calorie choices are better for you than drinking a full-flavored can of coke, you might be surprised.

Just wait until you hear about this…

One of the first problems with any type of regular soda is the amount of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) used in them. Here in the U.S. we consume an average of 55 pounds of HFCS per person each year. And the majority of it comes from soft drinks.

There has been a lot of research revolving around soda consumption. And in a meta analysis of 11 studies on these beverages, the results were consistent.

They increase your risk of diabetes… increase your glycemic load… add to insulin resistance… and reduce insulin beta cell dysfunction which is crucial to your glucose and insulin metabolism.

The use of artificial sweeteners in diet sodas is just as troubling. Studies suggest these no-calorie sweeteners increase your risk of diabetes and contribute to weight gain. And they do it in much the same way sugar does.

In one study, diet soda drinkers were compared with people who didn’t drink them.

After an average of 9.5 years of follow-up, the folks who drank the diet drinks experienced a 70% greater increase in waist size than non-drinkers. And in those who consumed two or more diet sodas a day, waistline growth was a whopping 500% greater.

That’s two black eyes against soft drinks, whether they’re diet or not. But there’s more you should know about…

Research out of Japan just a few months ago links soft drinks with an increased risk of stroke. The researchers followed almost 40,000 people for 18 years. And do you know what they discovered?

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The people who drank sodas every day were more likely to have an ischemic stroke.

That’s when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. It’s usually caused by plaque build-up in the arteries of the neck.

Other research shows drinking a diet soda every day can increase your risk or stroke, heart attack and death.

And here’s a real whopper. Just a few years ago fatty liver was almost always attributed to “boozing it up.” But today it’s a whole ‘nother story. Non-alcoholic fatty liver is becoming much more common.

And soft drink consumption may play a role.

In a 2008 study, researchers discovered the amount of soda consumed was directly linked to the presence of fatty liver in people who had no other risk factors. In other words, these people weren’t partying every night, or every other night. 80% of them were just slurping on a Coke or Diet Coke on a regular basis.

The big picture here is obvious. If you want to start losing weight, reduce your risk of diabetes and protect against stroke and heart attack, it’s time to nip your soda addiction in the bud.

And it may be easier than you think…

There are two things I know about soda drinkers. They love the refreshing feel of carbonation as it hits the back of their throats when they are really thirsty… and they often count on a caffeine boost from these products.

And you can get both, without the health risks that come with the sugars, HFCS and no-calorie sweeteners found in soda pop.

If you need the fizzle…

Carbonated water, seltzer water and sparkling mineral water are all full of bubbles. And they can quickly quench your thirst.

You can buy all of them in flavors like orange, lemon, lime and raspberry. Or you can add your own favorite zest to an unflavored brand. Top it off with citrus fruit, berries, kiwis or a slice of pear or add a small splash of your favorite juice.

If you need the caffeine…

There is nothing wrong with a tall glass of iced coffee. And if you keep it in moderation, you can even add a touch of sugar. Just don’t add a bunch of mocha, vanilla or chocolate flavorings. If you like your coffee light, a little almond milk will do the trick.

Here are some other great choices…

  • Remember when you were a kid and rushed into the house after thirsty day of play? The water faucet was probably one of your first stops. And it’s still a good choice today. Plain old ordinary water is good for you and quickly quenches your thirst. If you’re worried about contamination or additives, it’s easy enough to distill your water first.
  • Living here in South Florida I’m partial to iced tea. It doesn’t matter whether it’s black or green-tea. You can add a pinch of sugar or, better yet, a natural sweetener like stevia that doesn’t interfere with your glucose metabolism. I drink my tea unsweetened. And on a hot day it’s a real thirst-quencher.
  • Don’t forget about natural fruit and vegetable juices. I don’t advocate buying commercial fruit juices that are laden with sugars, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. And I’m not always happy with the amount of sodium and other additives used in store-bought vegetable juices. You’re best bet? Try juicing. It’s fun and delicious… and when you discover your favorite blend it can be even more satisfying than a soda.

You might also be able to find some all-natural sodas at your local health food store. Look for products that use stevia as the main sweetener and don’t have a bunch of additives.


Goran MI, Ulijaszek SJ, Ventura EE. High fructose corn syrup and diabetes prevalence: A global perspective. Glob Public Health. 2012 Nov 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Després JP, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2010 Nov;33(11):2477-83.

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (2011, June 28). Waistlines in people, glucose levels in mice hint at sweeteners’ effects: Related studies point to the illusion of the artificial. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 7, 2013, from¬ /releases/2011/06/110627183944.htm

Eshak ES, Iso H, Kokubo Y, Saito I, Yamagishi K, Inoue M, Tsugane S. Soft drink intake in relation to incident ischemic heart disease, stroke, and stroke subtypes in Japanese men and women: the Japan Public Health Centre-based study cohort I. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Dec; 96(6):1390-7. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Gardener H, Rundek T, Markert M, Wright CB, Elkind MS, Sacco RL. Diet soft drink consumption is associated with an increased risk of vascular events in the Northern Manhattan Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Sep;27(9):1120-6. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Assy N, Nasser G, Kamayse I, Nseir W, Beniashvili Z, Djibre A, Grosovski M. Soft drink consumption linked with fatty liver in the absence of traditional risk factors. Can J Gastroenterol. 2008 Oct;22(10):811-6