Many people fall for diet drinks and snacks because of their clever advertising. Even though they are promoted as “natural”, “healthy”, or “sugar-free”, consuming them can lead to things that advertisers don’t tell you.
Diet Soda And Heart Disease
Diet soda is presented as a healthier drink than regular soda because it contains fewer calories. However, there’s more stuff in this product than presented.
Diet soda is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and especially in United States.
Because of that, Dr. Ankur Vyas, a cardiovascular specialist at the Univesity of Iowa Health Care Hospitals and Clinics decided to conduct a research.
His goal was to find out about the health effects of diet sodas on consumers that the manufacturers didn’t share with the public. He specifically focused on the effects diet sodas have on consumer’s cardiovascular health.
The study concluded that people who drank “two or more cans of diet soda a day were 30% more likely to have a cardiovascular event (e.g. heart attack) and 50% more likely to die of a heart-related disease than someone who drank none.”
“This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome” said Dr.Vyas.
The study was conducted on 60,000 postmenopausal women during a 9-year study at the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.
The participants were first asked to track their consumption of 12-ounce diet sodas and fruit drinks for a period of three months.
After that they were divided into four groups:
- 2 or more drinks a day
- 5-7 drinks per week
- 1-4 drinks per week
- 0-3 drinks per month
8.7 years later Dr. Vyas and his team examined the health records to show the history of the medical interventions and diseases of the subjects.
Their medical history showed:
- Coronary heart disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart attack
- Coronary revascularization procedure
- Ischemic stroke
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Cardiovascular death
The results showed 8.5% of the first group of women who drank 2 or more diet drinks every day, had at least one or more medical interventions during the study. Compared to the other groups, at least one medical intervention had 6.9% of the women who consumed 5-7 diet drinks per week, 6.8% of the ones that consumed 1-4 drinks per week, and 7.2% of women that consumed 0-3 per month.
Other important information is that the participants in the first group that consumed 2 or more drinks daily were much younger compared to other groups. Women from this group were also more susceptible to diabetes and hypertension. This shows us that the soda triggered health problems in these women at a higher rate.
Even though the results of this study were alarming, the research team hasn’t yet released an official conclusion.
In the words of Dr. Vyas, “Based on these and other findings we have a responsibility to do more research to see what is going on and further define the relationship. This could have major public health implications.”
Similar study was conducted in New York. 2,500 people over 40 who never had a stroke were observed in a period of 10 years. They were asked to record their soda consumption, health issues, medical interventions and hospitalizations.
The data of the study showed that people who drink diet soda regularly have a much higher risk of a heart attack or stroke. They are also more prone to diabetes, hypertension, large waistlines, and also metabolic syndrome. .
On the other hand, the participants who drank regular soda were more likely smokers and also consumed more carbohydrates. However, they were less likely to develop diabetes or high blood cholesterol.
The major causes of these medical conditions are the artificial sweeteners that are commonly used in these kinds of products. Some of them include aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose.