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Staying Healthy With Diet Soda? Think Again

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diet-soda-consumption-poses-risks-to-health George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

I am always surprised when I see “healthy” people turning to diet soft drinks for thirst, or even as a guilty (and sometimes not-so-guilty) pleasure.

Although there is a lot of conflicting information about the safety of artificial sugars (depending on who funds the research), there have been numerous studies about the safety of that fizzy, calorie-free, artificial drink.

Just recently, a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reported in the New York Times found a possible link between diet soft drinks and cardiovascular disease.

With heart disease being the number one leading cause of death in women today, this research is huge.

The harm doesn’t stop there.

Heart attack and stroke:
That same study found that daily consumption of diet sodas is associated with an increase in stroke, heart attack and even death — serious side effects for a dinner table drink.

In fact, one study reported in Indiana Public Media found that individuals who consumed diet soda daily, had a 48 percent higher risk of stroke or heart attack than those who did not consume soda at all. It is important to note that “the study didn’t look at the type of diet soda or the amount consumed, just whether or not subjects drank diet soda everyday”.

One long-term study of nurse participants found that diet sodas can have a negative health effect on the kidneys, as reported on NPR. Although this particular study could have been influenced by other contributing factors, it found that diet soda consumption could be associated with decreased kidney function over time.

Liver damage is yet another side effect of diet soda drinking. Livestrong cites a 2009 study published in the Journal of Hepatology that found that, “people who drink about 33 oz. of diet soda per day, roughly three cans, were five-times more likely to develop a fatty liver than those who drank no diet soda.”

The list goes on. Last but not least, diet soda is linked to obesity.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Where are the scientific studies? Where is the conclusive evidence?

Again the anti diet soda brigade trot out articles citing scientific studies with no conclusive evidence.

I am interested in this as I would like to know whether the diet soda I drink is inhibiting my ability to lose weight for competition in boxing. So I look for information on the net and all I get are articles like this citing the 'dangers' but without the evidence.

So if you have nothing of revelence to contribute, please DO NOT puiblish articles like this. All they do is serve to spread misinformation and paranoia, and really wind up the people who are looking for the cold, hard facts of the matter.

January 29, 2013 - 8:41am

So do I Dr. Sabine Thomas. I like to drink reverse osmosis water, and it is difficult to get, so I take it from home.

March 18, 2012 - 11:24am

I am so glad to see this article. Soft drinks to me are lethal. My motto is if you are thirsty, drink water. Better yet, put a slice of lemon in your water not only for taste, but it does clear the liver.
Maybe it is because I don't like bubbles in my drink, never did, but I am a water drinker! Hydrating the body is important. Those soft drinks do not hydrate, but rather have negative issues that you mentioned above.
Horray! You have enlightened people with this article.

March 15, 2012 - 9:44am
(reply to Donna Merrill)

I second your comment about water. I carry a bottle with me wherever I go.

March 17, 2012 - 4:33pm
(reply to Donna Merrill)


I'm so glad you liked it and that you're so passionate about the subject! Even for those who enjoy a fizzy type of drink, there are always healthy alternatives like kombucha or sparkling water. Thanks for your feedback!



March 15, 2012 - 4:57pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.