Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, Feb. 17

New studies show diet sodas double your risk of obesity
Ranks over eating to make up for lack of calories

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - The Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project says that parents need to educate their children about the bad side of drinking sodas and energy drinks, and to go back to the basic element of life - water.

Robert Nakai, NNSDP program director stated Navajo people need to be educated about drinking diet sodas as new studies reveal that drinking diet sodas can double your risk of obesity.

Nakai said that he read an article on and quoted Kenn Kihiu who wrote in his blog that, "Just because it says 'diet' does not mean it's good for you. One of the best things you can do for your health is eliminate sodas, including diet soft drinks from your diet. It's one of the simplest and most profound health improvements you can make. Most people are under the false impression that diet soft drinks get you off the hook. This explains why 60 percent of Americans consume diet soft drinks which have now become the most popular low calorie drink of choice."

Nakai said that Kihiu is correct. For example, a person who drinks a diet soda may feel it's acceptable to make up for those calories with another high-calorie food.

Kihiu added, "Dr. Marie Savard, pointed to a recent Purdue University study released in the Behavioral Neuroscience Journal which showed that rats on diets containing artificial sweetener such as saccharin gained more weight than rats given other sugary foods. The Purdue University study confirmed that rats who were on an artificial sweeteners diet experienced a physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories, which drove them to overeat."

He said there is a similar relation in humans. "The tongue is temporarily satisfied by the artificial sweet taste of diet soda, but your marvelous brain isn't fooled and still craves more calories for energy. So you end up overeating. No wonder we keep asking for a double-bacon cheeseburger and a diet coke."

So you might be left wondering, "What is safe to drink?" The answer is water. Give it a try; you will wonder why you loved sodas so much. It's an easy habit to kick. For next 10 days, switch from soda to water and notice the difference in your body.

Nakai said that for the past eight years, the NNSDP has been encouraging people to stop drinking soda and to drink more water.

"Water is the best source of energy. It has always been taught by the Navajos traditionally that water is life," Nakai stated. "The outside influences have most of us convinced that soft drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks are good for us and the best source to replenish liquids in our bodies, but nothing will replace water as the best source of energy for our bodies."

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