Excessive consumption sugary soda can cause diabetes and obesity, so sugar-free diet soda is advertised as a healthy alternative. The problem is that studies have also linked diet sodas with serious risks.

The research is limited, but so far the strongest evidence shows that people who drink diet soda have a higher risk of cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks, as well as type-2 diabetes and obesity.

For example, last month, a study of 4,400 people over the age of 45 who drank at least one diet soda per day were 3X more likely to have a stroke or dementia. No increased risk was observed for sugary drinks.

The study doesn’t prove that diet sodas cause strokes, but findings are in line with two other studies in 2012 that linked a daily diet soda habit with a 30-45% increased risk of stroke, heart attack and death.

It is possible that artificial sweeteners promote inflammation and blood vessel damage, but no one knows. Sweeteners might also “trick” the brain into craving high-calorie foods, which would help explain other studies linking diet soda and diabetes.

And while everyone knows that sugary soda causes tooth decay and cavities, diet sodas may be just as bad. The drinks contain phosphoric acid and acids that strip the enamel off your teeth. Over time, this weakens the teeth and increases the risk of chipping.

Diet sodas can also have weird side effects, like working as a laxative. Headaches are still the most common side effect linked to aspartame since it was un-banned in 1983 over brain tumor fears. Some studies also link diet sodas and depression.

The moral of the story is the one “Big Soda” doesn’t want to admit. When it comes to your general health, water wins every time.

Source: The Mounting Evidence Against Diet Sodas

Elizabeth Bradley

Posted by Elizabeth Bradley

Lifelong consumer advocate. Pop culture nerd. Grammar evangelist. Wannabe organizer. Travel addict. Zombie fan.

2 Comments

  1. So ironic! Diabetics drink these diet concoctions to get their sweet fix and keep sugars under control. Now the go-around has become the source of the problem? Water is indeed the right choice.

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  2. Contrary to the misinformation here, low-calorie soda is not driving complex health conditions, such as heart attack and stroke. And soft drinks do not uniquely cause increased risk of obesity or diabetes, which relate to many factors. The studies cited here fail to establish causation, and they do not overturn the vast body of science that establishes the safety of these products and their ingredients.

    The fact is, low-calorie sweeteners have been proven safe by worldwide government safety authorities as well as hundreds of scientific studies. The FDA, World Health Organization, European Food Safety Authority and others have extensively reviewed low-calorie sweeteners and have all reached the same conclusion – they are safe for consumption.

    We would also add that scientific evidence shows beverages containing these sweeteners can be a useful tool as part of an overall weight management plan. America’s beverage companies support and encourage balanced lifestyles by providing people with a range of beverage choices – including products without calories and sugar – and these choices are safe for consumption.

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