Diet soda has been repeatedly linked to poor health.
The dangers continue to ramp up as some studies even connect soda to major risks of early death. Studies similar to this have been done in the past, but this one is the largest of its kind. Data was collected from nearly half a million people in Europe and results showed that people who consumed two or more glasses of soda a day were 17% more likely to die during the two-decade study.
The data still trended in this direction even after factors such as smoking, alcohol, BMI, calorie intake, and physical activity were taken into account. However, like previous studies, the study found diet soda only as an association but cannot prove that it actually causes early death.
The connections are tough to ignore, though. Public health campaigns are ramping up even more to sway people from drinking soda on a regular basis. In the study, roughly 450,000 people participated in the study for around 16 years. These people did not have cancer, heart disease, strokes, or diabetes at the beginning of the study, but admitted to drinking diet soda on a consistent basis. In the 16 year period, 41,700 people died.
11% of the people who died said that they consumed two or more sodas a day while 9% said that they consumed soda around once a month. The people who consumed diet sodas the most were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than any other.
A study on animals showed that animals that frequently consumed artificial sweeteners had a difficult time handling real sugar. The same could potentially be true about humans. There is a good chance that soda consumption can lead to high blood sugar levels that affect the gut lining, which can lead to digestive diseases.
The study is ongoing, but people should heed the warning about consuming too much soda. There seems to be no information linking anything healthy to soft drinks.