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Diet Soda Intake Tied to Belly Fat in Older Adults

Findings show a dose-response relationship, even when adjusting for other factors

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Increasing diet soda intake (DSI) is tied to greater abdominal obesity in older adults, according to a study published online March 17 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Sharon P.G. Fowler, M.P.H., from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and colleagues followed 749 older individuals (aged 65 and older at baseline) for a mean of 2.64 follow-up intervals over 9.4 total follow-up years. The authors sought to assess the relationship between DSI and long-term changes in waist circumference (WC).

The researchers found that after adjusting for initial WC, demographic characteristics, physical activity, diabetes mellitus, and smoking, for diet soda users, the mean interval change in WC (2.11 cm) was almost triple that of nonusers (0.77 cm; P < 0.001). 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,” the authors write.

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