Friday, April 20, 2012

The Danger of Indulging Diet Soda!

Soda is sweet and is blamed to be the culprit for causing overweight. That is why many people have switched to diet soda, which is believed to be healthier than the normal soda.

A study released in February 2012 reported that obese people who were randomly assigned to drink water or diet drinks instead of sugary drinks lost about 5 pounds over 6 months.

Does this mean that diet drinks are healthy? Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine apparently did not think so. In their paper published in February 2012 in the ‘Journal of General Internal Medicine’, they pointed out that while diet soda might not cause a person to gain weight, people who drink it everyday might have a higher chance of getting heart attack and stroke.

Older adults who drank diet soda everyday were 44 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack, though their study did not prove that the sugar-free drinks were not the sole culprits. It is possible that people who indulge in diet soda might tend to have more unhealthy habits.

The study analyzed data of 2,564 adults in the New York City, aged 69 years and above when the study started. Over the next decade, 591 men and women had a heart attack, stroke or died of cardiovascular events. This included 31 percent of the 163 people who drank a diet soda daily at the start of the study. The researchers also found that daily consumption of diet soda was linked to a 44-percent higher risk of heart attack or stroke, comparing to 22 percent for people who rarely or never drank diet soda but had a heart attack or stroke.

Interestingly, the researchers also noted that daily diet-soda drinkers did tend to be heavier and more often have some heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels.

Nevertheless, researchers admitted that they were unclear how diet soda could cause the problem. While some previous studies in rats suggested that artificial sweeteners in diet soda could boost food intake and weight, it is not certain that whether these results would translate to humans.

Perhaps people should not change their drinking behavior just based on this study. Further study should be carried out to confirm the connection between diet soda and cardiovascular disease.

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