Diet Drinks may not be the Healthy Alternative we all Thought

An ‘association’ has been found between drinking two or more cans of diet soft drinks a day, and diabetes and heart disease in older women.
A study was undertaken by scientists at the University of Iowa and looked at the drinking habits of 60,000 women with an average age of 63. They found that the women who drank more than two “healthy” alternative soft drinks were 30% more likely to suffer a stroke or a heart attack, and 50% more likely to die as a result of a heart condition.
However, the researchers stressed that this does not necessarily mean that diet soft drinks cause these deaths and conditions. It could be that diet drinks tend to be popular amongst people who are overweight or diabetic, who are already at risk of these conditions.
Furthermore, the study was focused on American post-menopausal women, and so the association with soft drinks and illness may be different for different groups of people.
On the other hand, it is theorised that the aspartame used as a sweetener in many drinks doesn’t satiate our cravings for sugar, so cause snacking on sugary treats as compensation.
The lead researcher, Dr. Ankur Vyas said: “We only found an association, so we can’t say that diet drinks cause these problems.”
A professor with the British Heart Foundation, Peter Weissberg commented that “the findings are not conclusive and do not necessarily mean that diet drinks cause heart disease… For the time being, women should moderate their intake of both high sugar and diet drinks and avoid overindulging in both.”

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