By Gus Turner
Carbonated water is a common but tragically-misunderstood drink. In the past, we’ve debunked a number of myths about the bubbly beverage, explaining how the sparkling stuff isn’t nearly bad as for you as the rumors make it out to be.
Among those beliefs is the insistence that sipping carbonated water will add inches to your waistline. Now, new research from Birzeit University in Palestine is bringing this stigma back to life.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service highlighted the university’s study today, which was published in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice.
The study tested rats and found a link between the consumption of carbonated beverages and weight gain. One set of mice were served fizzy drinks, while another was served flat soda and water.
After six months, they concluded that the intake of carbonated beverages stimulated increased production of ghrelin, a hormone that activates the appetites of both rats and humans, causing the rats to eat more and gain weight.
While the NHS notes that the UK media’s coverage of the story has been accurate, they pointed out a number of flaws in the study’s methods that should give you pause before you decide to dump your case of Canada Dry.
First and foremost, the experiment was tested on rats, not humans. On top of that, the study didn’t account for external factors that could influence weight gain, such as an unhealthy diet or lack of exercise.
“Overall, this study raises an interesting possibility that fizzy drinks could stimulate the appetite and cause weight gain, which is definitely worthy of further research,” the NHS said. Until then, we say you’re still safe to drink a sparkling water.
Soda? Sorry, you’re out of luck.