The March 30, 2015 issue of Time Magazine features a story, “The Skinny on Diet Soda” written by Mandy Oaklander. The essence of the article is that diet soda makes you fat. That is something I knew ten years ago. Diet soda makes you gain weight and it is bad for your overall health.

I assume Mandy Oaklander is citing the recent findings of researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The lead author, Sharon Fowler and her colleagues discovered that diet soda drinkers “gained nearly triple the abdominal fat – 3 inches (8 centimeters) as those who didn’t drink diet soda.”

But guess what? The researchers are puzzled. Although they cite four possibilities (you can read the article to see what they are) they don’t know why diet soda makes you fat. They were unable to show causation.

I’ll tell you why I think diet soda drinkers “gained nearly triple the abdominal fat.” Fake sugar or real sugar – it doesn’t matter, (because your body reacts to it the same way) is unhealthy for you and your waistline.

Your body is hardwired to react to “sweets” in the blood stream by asking the pancreas to create and pump out insulin to counter the effect.

Many diet soda drinkers believe that because diet soda (“has no calories”) they can drink as many as they want. This excess causes an increased production of insulin. This increase renders insulin ineffective(insulin resistance), it can not unlock the cell door in order to allow glucose in. The circulating “the zero calorie fake sugar” along with insulin is highly inflammatory to the body and it is stored as fat!

Plain and simple, artificial this, artificial that – it all adds up to a brutal reality: weight gain and deteriorating health. Dump the diet soda, drink water or unsweetened iced tea.