Diet Cooldrinks May Increase the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

Diet cooldrinks tout “light” and “zero” (referring to their sugar content) as being more healthy than their sugar-laden counterparts. However, studies are showing a disturbing trend particularly among daily consumers of these beverages, that points to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. We’ve curated two articles referencing the same study that discuss the paper in more detail.

What we know about diet soda’s connection to heart disease, stroke, and early death | Popular Science

People who drank two or more artificially-sweetened drinks per day might be at a higher risk.

The authors caution that neither this study, nor ones like it, prove drinking diet soda causes these diseases.

The study collected diet and health information from more than 80,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 as part of the Women’s Health Initiative, a longitudinal health study created in 1991 by the National Institutes of Health. The authors looked specifically for a connection between the consumption of diet sodas and other artificially sweetened beverages (like Snapple, Vitamin Water, or Crystal Light) and stroke, heart disease, and overall mortality.

First things first: the authors did take confounding factors into account. That means the conclusions are after considering the characteristics we already know influence a person’s chances of having a stroke or heart disease, like smoking, poor nutrition, hypertension, diabetes status, and age. Once those elements were controlled for, the authors found that women who consumed two or more artificially sweetened beverages each day were 31 percent more likely to have a stroke, 29 percent more likely to have heart disease, and 16 percent more likely for premature death than the women who either drank one artificially sweetened beverages per week or less. read more at popsci.com

 

Diet soda may dramatically increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, study shows

The study, which was published in the journal Stroke, examined the long-term health of over 80,000 women who volunteered to have health check-ins decades after the fact. The data relied on self-reported consumption of what the scientists call ASB, or “artificially sweetened beverages.”

“Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet,’’ lead author Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement. “Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.”

Unfortunately, the study wasn’t able to break down what kind of artificial sweeteners were being consumed. The data didn’t include that information, so it’s difficult to say whether all artificial sweeteners are risky or if some, like aspartame, are more dangerous than others.