Soda Causes Permanent Weight Gain, Study Finds

A recent study from the University of Bangor found that soda changes the body's metabolism

It’s no surprise to anyone that soda causes weight gain, what with the controversial soda ban this summer and soda companies' new goal to find a better alternative to their sugar-laden pop. Health-conscious consumers know to stay away from the sugary stuff; however, another layer has been added to the soda debate. A recent study conducted by the University of Bangor in Wales found out that soda has the capacity to alter your metabolism, meaning that you could gain weight from soda — and have said weight stay on even if you stop drinking soda.

Dr. Hans-Peter Kubis, who was in charge of the study, discovered that the sugars in soda lead to an inefficient metabolism as the body attempts to regulate the sudden onslaught of sugar. In only a short time the participants — all said to be in a generally healthy state before the program — saw a change in how their bodies processed sugar and used it for fuel. With constant sugar floating through the blood stream, the body will consistently choose to use sugar instead of fats for energy. This change isn’t a temporary jolt after drinking a soda, but a long-lasting alteration.

The study was conducted using sugar-sweetened sodas, so the same impact might be avoided with those who drink diet beverages. After only four weeks of soda consumption, the participants’ bodies were already shifting to display signs of sugar and fat metabolism that doctors had previously thought existed only in obese patients and those with type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Kubis told the Daily News that he hoped his findings would help encourage the U.K. government to take action in restricting soft drink sales. "Clearly taxation on sugary drinks is overdue. This money could be invested in the NHS where it is urgently needed to treat people with obesity problems and diabetes," he said. Whether or not this will impact soda legislation in New Yor,k and other cities considering large soda bans, it will be interesting to see.