If the FDA won't go after diet sodas for all the dangerous chemicals they contain, maybe the FTC can take action for false advertising.

There's nothing "diet" about diet sodas. After all, studies have linked them to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart problems, and more.

And now, yet another study confirms that people who drink the most diet soda have the biggest bellies.

Researchers from the University of Texas medical school examined data on 474 seniors who took part in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging, and found that the waistlines of those who drank diet soda grew 70 percent more than those who didn't drink the stuff during the average follow-up of nearly 10 years.

And the more they drank, the more they grew: The researchers say those who drank two or more diet sodas a day had five times the increase in belly size than those who drank no soda, according to the study presented at a recent American Diabetes Association meeting.

In real terms, that means a diet soda habit will put you into pants with a waistline two inches bigger than the ones you're wearing now.

So much for "diet."

The researchers didn't stop there. They also found a link between aspartame -- the main sweetener used in diet sodas --and diabetes.

Researchers fed mice prone to diabetes either a high-fat diet or a high-fat diet with aspartame for three months, and found that the rodents that got the sweetener had higher levels of fasting glucose.

The researchers say these mice were essentially prediabetic.

But no one should be surprised by any of this, because diet soda has been linked to serious health problems time and again.

One recent study found that women who drink the most diet soda have a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events such as heart attack and stroke than women who don't drink diet soda.

Another recent study found that the caramel color used in both diet and regular sodas contains high levels of chemical compounds linked to cancer.

In addition, soda cans are lined with BPA -- the hormone-like chemical linked to everything from obesity to sexual problems.

Of course, sugar-packed regular soda is every bit as bad for you -- and don't buy into the hype over "real sugar" colas or Mexican Coke.

If you just have to have to have some fizz in your water, try plain old seltzer instead.

No one's ever gotten fat or sick on that.