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The Health Risks of Diet Soda- Are There Any?

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Over fifty billion litres of diet soda gets consumed in the USA every year. For many around you, it has become natural to look for a fizzy drink every time an opportunity laced with thirst presents itself.

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But stop! Ask yourself. Is this a good or a bad thing that diet sodas sell so much?

What about their linkups to diabetes, weight gain, heart problems, stroke, and even dementia?

Is Diet Soda Responsible for Dementia and Stroke?

Matthew Pase and his Boston University fellow researchers studied the health-related information of over 3000 people. The data spanned over ten years. The participants were American adults over 45. Pase’s study counted the total number of people who ever had an episode of stroke.

Another similar study was conducted on 1500 people’s medical information(all over 60) to record the total cases of dementia.

The researchers accounted for various factors that any adult over 40 or 65 could suffer from, e.g. physical awareness, activity, and weight, etc. They concluded that the diet soda consuming group had thrice the chances of dementia and stroke than the group that didn’t.

However, the total population of the study group that had a stroke was 3 percent. Only 5 percent had dementia.

What Do Other Studies Say About This Matter?

As per a 2014 study, obese and overweight people, after consuming diet soda, had 90-200 extra calories than those who didn’t drink diet soda.

A BMJ review published in 2014 claimed that one serving of diet soda a day resulted in 8 percent increased chances of diabetes.

Another slightly older study of 2012 carried over a group with an average age of 69 years reported blood vessel problems and a 43 percent increased chances of stroke and heart attack.

David Ludwig’s 2012 test asked a group of obese teenagers to drink diet soda and another to drink regular soda/ sugary drinks for a year. A year later, the diet soda group had lost some weight. Two years later, no significant differences were noted in weights of both groups.

The Lack of Conclusive Evidence

Some investigations suggest that switching to diet sodas may help you reduce some weight.

However, the studies hardly present a conclusive link between the conditions and diet soda consumption. Longer clinical trials may be able to determine if diabetes, obesity and heart conditions are directly affected by diet sodas or not.

The concerns also revolve around the artificial sweeteners used in the diet soda drinks. They may cause calorie overcompensation, trigger appetite, or affect your choice regarding healthy food.

Of course, a lot of it is still in theory and needs much work to be proved.

So, Should You Quit Drinking Diet Soda for Good?

Dieticians suggest replacing a soda habit with water. They also highlight that diet soda can be a part of healthy food choices. However, it must be backed up with other healthy meal counterparts.

American Beverage Association considers diet soda (and artificial sweeteners for that matter) a safe option, especially when making a switch from sweetened to unsweetened drinks.

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