A recent study has shown that carbonated drinks may be linked to weight gain.

The study, conducted by a research team from the Birzeit University in Palestine, used lab rats to test the effects of four types of drinks including carbonated, diet carbonated, flat/degassed carbonated and regular water. The study was conducted over the course of a year and the rats were left to consume as much as they liked from each of the four drinks.

By the end of the study the rats who drank water and flat drinks had put on significantly less weight than the others, which led the researchers to conclude that the rats who drank the carbonated drinks had secreted more of the ‘hunger hormone’ that sparks an increase in appetite.

In addition, the researchers conducted a second study using 20 healthy university students. They blood tested the students after having them consume either water or the other varieties of carbonated drinks. The students who consumed the carbonated drinks had hunger hormone levels that were significantly higher than those who consumed water only.

The researchers now believe they can prove the link between carbonated drinks and weight gain.

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