HealthDay News — In older adult patients, an increase in diet soda intake is tied to greater abdominal obesity, results of a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggest.

To examine the relationship between diet soda intake (DSI) and long-term waist circumference (WC) changes, Sharon P.G. Fowler, MPH, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and colleagues followed 749 older individuals, aged 65 years and older at baseline, for a mean of 2.64 follow-up intervals over 9.4 total follow-up years.

For diet soda users, the mean interval in WC (2.11 cm) was almost triple that of nonusers (0.77 cm; P<0.001) after the scientists adjusted for initial waist change, demographic characteristics, physical activity, diabetes mellitus, and smoking. The adjusted interval changes in WC were 0.77 cm for nonusers, 1.76 cm for occasional users, and 3.04 cm for daily users (P=0.002 for trend). Diet soda users had consistently higher changes in WC in point estimates in subanalyses stratified for selected covariates.

“In a striking dose-response relationship, increasing DSI was associated with escalating abdominal obesity, a potential pathway for cardiometabolic risk in this aging population,” concluded the researchers.


  1. Fowler SPG et al. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2015; doi: 10.1111/jgs.13376

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