We Have Some Bad News About Your Diet Soda Habit
If you made a New Year’s resolution to give up soda and didn’t stick to it, now might be the time to pick that promise back up again: A new study out of Boston University just published in the journal Stroke found that people who drank diet soda daily were three times more likely to have a stroke or dementia than those who drank it weekly or less often.
First, researchers collected data from 2,888 adults over 45 and another 1,484 adults over the age of 60 in a single Massachusetts town. They then looked at the relationship between how much diet soda the members of these groups had consumed between 1991 and 2001 and the health problems they had over the following 10 years, finding higher rates of stroke and dementia among those who had consumed more artificially sweetened drinks.
The study has limitations: Researcherscautioned that their work showed a correlation but didn’t explicitly show that diet soda causes strokes or dementia. Still, they believe that the study can serve as motivation for people to replace diet soda with healthier beverages — and no, that doesn’t include normal soda, which is highly sugary.
“Although we did not find an association between stroke or dementia and the consumption of sugary drinks [as opposed to diet soda], this certainly does not mean they are a healthy option,” researcher Matthew Pase said in a statement. Indeed, plenty of research has shown that a higher sugar intake does have links to increased risk forheart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Pase’s recommendation? Skip the soda and go straight to the beverage you know is good for you: trusty H2O.