If you are trying to win the “battle of the bulge” it’s likely that you have turned to diet soda as your beverage of choice. Bubbly, bursting with flavor, and no calories—who could ask for more?

Well, I am sorry to be the one to burst all those tiny bubbles, my friend, but I have some not-so-good news for you. Recent studies have found  that not only is the “diet” part of diet soda harmful, but they have confirmed that the health-stealing character traits of regular colas remain—even though the calories have been stripped away. Here are some of the health problems your bubbling beverage is serving up:

KIDNEY DAMAGE—A 2009 Nurse’s Health Study, whose test sample included over 3000 women, found that those who drank two or more cans of diet soda each day had a 30% decrease in kidney function when compared with people who drank calorie-filled sodas!

WEIGHT GAIN—In 2005, a study out of the University of Texas discovered that the more diet soda a person drank, the worse it was for their waistline. In fact, for each diet soft drink a person drank per day, they were 65% more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41% more likely to become obese.

TOOTH ENAMEL DAMAGE—The tangy flavor of the cola you enjoy comes from the addition of phosphoric acid. And being an acid by nature, it does what all acids do—it eats away at things, specifically at your tooth enamel.

BONE LOSS—Calcium is a crucial for strong bones. Yet again thanks to the phosphoric acid in colas, the dietary calcium you ingest is significantly blocked from being absorbed into your blood stream. The calcium that does make it into circulation is excreted at an increased rate by your kidneys. So in order to assure that your blood calcium level remains in the “safe zone”, your bones must sacrificially donate some of their calcium. This places you at greater risk for osteoporosis as you age.

So please, do your body a huge favor and replace your diet soda with a glass of sparkling water, flavored with a wedge of citrus fruit or a splash of juice—you’ll be able to drink to your good health every time!

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