Obesity is a major public health concern in the USA and throughout the world. And whilst we all know that sugary, fizzy drinks such as soda are contributing to increasing waist lines, do we know about the link between soda and eating disorders?
In their paper, Examining the relationship between soda consumption and eating disorder pathology, from the journal Advances in Eating Disorders, Bragg and White compare diet soda drinkers, regular soda drinkers and individuals who do not regularly consume soda to see which groups are more likely to display eating disorders such as binge eating, overeating and purging.
The authors found that diet soda drinkers (34% of their 2077 participants) reported significantly higher levels of eating, shape and weight concerns than regular soda drinkers (22%), who in turn reported higher levels on these variables than non-soda drinkers (44%). Diet soda drinkers were also found to report binge eating and purging more than non-soda drinkers.
Furthermore, consumption of any soda was positively associated with a higher BMI, though individuals who consumed regular soda reported significantly higher BMIs than diet soda drinkers, who reported higher weight than those who did not drink soda regularly.
Therefore those who consume soda regularly reported higher BMI and more eating disorders than those who do not consume soda. These findings extend previous research that demonstrates a definite link between soda consumption and weight.