On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.

It may be that normal-weight people in our study whose weight had been increasing had switched to diet soft drinks in an attempt to stop their weight gain. Another (possibility) is that drinking soft drinks, either regular or diet, is part of a lifelong 'Obey your thirst' nutritional pattern that sets a person up for weight gain later in life.