The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Do diet soft drinks predispose to obesity?

    During the American Diabetes Association 71st Scientific Sessions, researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio reported on (abstract 0062-OR) the relationship between drinking diet soft drinks and long-term changes in waist circumference.

    First, the details.

    • 474 adults in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging participated.
    • Height, weight, waist circumference, and diet soft drink intake were recorded before the study and at each of 3 follow-up exams over an average of 3.6 years.
    • The average change in waist circumference among diet soft drink users vs. non-users was adjusted for gender; baseline waist circumference, age, ethnicity, education, neighborhood, leisure physical activity, diabetes, and smoking status; and duration of follow-up.

    And, the results.

    • Diet soft drink users had a significant 70% greater increase in waist circumference vs non-users (+2 cm vs. less than +1 cm), respectively.
    • There was a significant positive relationship between diet soft drink use and subsequent waist circumference.
    • Estimates for the change in waist circumference were 63% higher in daily diet soft drink users vs non-users, but this difference was not significant.
    • Among frequent users (at least 2 diet soft drinks/day) the average increases in waist circumference was a significant 5 times greater than those in non-users.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “These results suggest that — amidst the national drive to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks — policies which would promote the consumption of diet soft drinks may have unintended deleterious effects.”

    The results are potentially important because waist circumference is widely used as a proxy measure of visceral adiposity, a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions.

    The researchers caution “that the promotion of diet sodas as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised: they may be free of calories, but not of consequences.”

    OK, but in the real world — I refer to those of us constantly trying to maintain our waistline — it could mean the difference between a 36″ and 38″ pain of jeans.

    7/1/11 18:56 JR

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