Does Diet Soda Lead to Early Death? New Study Puts An Interesting Twist on the Debate
The debate surrounding the effects of soft drinks, and particularly soda, has been around for some years now. With medical professionals claiming that some of the conditions that affect us are self-inflicted, it gets difficult to select a drink without thinking about what it’ll do to your body.
Of course, the effects of alcohol are well documented, but what about other types of beverages such as coffee? It does contain the stimulant caffeine, doesn’t it? What of sparkling water? You shouldn’t be surprised if you come across an article claiming that you shouldn’t touch it with a ten-mile pole.
Having said that though, diet soda still remains a contentious talking point in this massive debate. Just last month, the drink made headlines across Europe and the United States after a study linked its consumption to an early death. That’s some conclusion, given how popular diet soda is, don’t you think?
The study was conducted in Europe and published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, and the researchers’ findings weren’t restricted to diet soda alone. In fact, they drew the same conclusion from the consumption of regular soda.
As the study’s lead author, Dr. Amy Mullee, told SELF, the team found that those who take at least two glasses of soft drinks daily are more likely to die early, regardless of whether their drinks are artificially or naturally sweetened.
To be more specific, those who consume two or more glasses of regular soda are 8% more likely to die early compared to those who consume less than a single glass per month, while for those whose poison is diet soda, the percentage likelihood of an earlier death is 26%.
The effects of regular soda may not have caught anyone by surprise, but drawing the same conclusion from diet soda calls for an in-depth analysis. Isn’t diet soda supposed to be at least less detrimental than its sugary counterpart?
Obviously, diet soda enthusiasts feel very much disadvantaged after the findings that this study has brought to light. However, SELF reports that there’s more than meets the eye in this research. Shall we dive in?
The study group comprised of 451,743 individuals recruited from 1992 to 2000, their average age being 50.8. Additionally, 71.1% of this group identified as women. Over the study’s follow-up period, 41,693 participants died, with the researchers recording each individual’s cause of death.
Next came analyzing the relationship between specific causes of death and the soda consumption patterns in these individuals to try and reach a decisive conclusion. To make it easier, the researchers categorized the causes of death into broad categories such as circulatory diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, etc.
Cancer the Menace
With how much menacing cancer has been, no one should be surprised that most of the participants who passed on succumbed to the disease. Specifically, cancer was responsible for the death of more than 43% of them.
However, this is where things get interesting. Upon analyzing the relationship between soda consumption and cancer, the researchers found no significant link. Did you hear that right? No significant relationship between either regular or diet soda and cancer.
And given that most of the dearly departed participants in the study died of the disease, it definitely wasn’t their beverage consumption habits that killed them.
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