For years diet soda has been portrayed as the "healthier soda" choice because it has no calories. But zero calorie sweeteners like saccharin and aspartame come with risks including a link with bladder cancer, brain tumors, and osteoporosis. If that's not reason enough to put down the frighteningly sweet bubbled beverage, new research recently presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles found that daily intake of diet soda increases your risk of vascular events by 61 percent, according to a story on the Today Show.While the study has yet to be released, new research presented last week at the International Stroke Conference points to real evidence that links diet beverages to vascular events including heart attack and stroke. But scientists have yet to figure out why the use of sugar-free sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin is causing the incidence and what exact amount would be deemed unsafe. But they did outline the risk of daily consumption, which for many Americans who drink 3 to 4 cans a day, is scary stuff.
The study, which was done at Columbia University and University of Miami, followed 2,500 New Yorkers for 9 years and found that those that consumed diet soda every day had a 61 percent increased risk of vascular events such as stroke or heart attack than those that drank none.
According to the Today's Show Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman, diet sodas have in some ways shaped our society to crave sweeter things and more of them because they are just so much sweeter than sugar. What's more, new studies are showing that diet sodas can "rejigger" the brain to make us crave other things.
"The lines are just being drawn. This battle is heating up," says Snyderman.
And she's right. The beverage industry is ready to battle. Saying that the study unfairly portrays diet soda as a villain and that the study didn't control for vascular family history or weight. But more and more studies are linking these diet beverages to a host of frightening illnesses.
Not only is soda bad for you, it's bad for the planet considering that cans and plastic bottles are hugely wasteful. Even though they can be recycled, it takes energy to recycle them. Plus the manufacturing and transport of beverages with absolutely no nutritional density is hugely wasteful.
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