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Study: Diet soda may do more harm than good
July 10th, 2013
05:01 PM ET

Study: Diet soda may do more harm than good

Diet soda drinkers have the same health issues as those who drink regular soda, according to a new report published Wednesday.

Purdue University researchers reviewed a dozen studies published in past five years that examined the relationship between consuming diet soda and health outcomes. They then published an opinion piece on their findings in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, saying they were “shocked” by the results.

"Honestly, I thought that diet soda would be marginally better compared to regular soda in terms of health," said Susan Swithers, the report's author and a behavioral neuroscientist and professor of psychological sciences. “But in reality it has a counterintuitive effect.”

Artificial sweeteners in diet soda fulfill a person’s craving for a sweet taste, without the calories. But that's the problem, according to researchers. Think of it like crying wolf.

The fake sugar in diet sodas teases your body by pretending to give it real food. But when your body doesn't get the things it expects to get, it becomes confused on how to respond. While the studies they reviewed only looked at diet soft drinks, the researchers suggest that this could apply to other products that contain artificial sweeteners as well.

"You've messed up the whole system, so when you consume real sugar, your body doesn't know if it should try to process it because it's been tricked by the fake sugar so many times," says Swithers.

On a physiological level, this means when diet soda drinkers consume real sugar, the body doesn’t release the hormone that regulates blood sugar and blood pressure.

Video: Are diet sodas dangerous to your health?

Diet soda drinkers also tend to pack on more pounds than those who don’t drink it, the report says.

“Research shows that sweet taste can increase appetite and the regular consumption of the high intensity sweetness of artificial sweeteners may encourage sugar cravings and dependence,” says CNN diet and fitness expert Dr. Melina Jampolis.

The artificial sweeteners also dampen the "reward center" in your brain, which may lead you to indulge in more calorie-rich, sweet-tasting food, according to the report.

The American Beverage Association says the report was "an opinion piece, not a scientific study."

"Low-calorie sweeteners are some of the most studied and reviewed ingredients in the food supply today," the association said in a statement. "They are safe and an effective tool in weight loss and weight management, according to decades of scientific research and regulatory agencies around the globe."

Diet soda's negative effects are not just linked to weight gain, however, the report says.

It found that diet soda drinkers who maintained a healthy weight range still had a significantly increased risk of the top three killers in the United States: diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

"We've gotten to a place where it is normal to drink diet soda because people have the false impression that it is healthier than indulging in a regular soda," says Swithers. "But research is now very clear that we need to also be mindful of how much fake sugar they are consuming."

There are five FDA-approved artificial sweeteners: acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), neotame, saccharin (SugarTwin, Sweet'N Low), and sucralose (Splenda).

“Saccharin was one of the first commercially-available artificially sweeteners, and it’s actually a derivative of tar,” says Swithers.

Even natural sweeteners like Stevia, which has no calories and is 250 times sweeter than regular sugar, are still processed extracts of a natural plant and may have increased health risks.

“Just because something is natural does not always mean that it is safer,” says Jampolis.

There more studies and research that need to be done. But in the meantime, experts say: Limit consumption.

“No one is saying cut it out completely,” says Swithers. “But diet soda should be a treat or indulgence just like your favorite candy, not an everyday thing.”

Sugary drinks linked to 180,000 deaths worldwide


soundoff (794 Responses)
  1. George C.

    Now here's the key part: This is NOT saying switch back to regular soda. Both are bad for you. What this basically means is that when you're thirsty and you're body is asking for liquid refreshment, all it needs is water. Don't give it water with sugar, water with fake sugar, or whatever. Just give it water. Save soda and other drinks for a rare treat in moderation. Not with every meal, not even with most meals. Your body will thank you. Promise.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott

      Exactly what I was thinking. I hope this article doesn't just serve to reinforce the behavior of heavy regular soda drinkers, who might turn around and say "ha, I'm the same as those diet drinkers."

      Cut back people. Soda's every bit as bad for you in excess, or worse, than smoking or drinking.

      July 10, 2013 at 17:18 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      @ George – I agree with you except that I wouldn't even drink this stuff in moderation, not even as a rare treat. It is addictive and for most people, drinking this toxic garbage, albeit in moderation, will trigger cravings for more. Then moderation will turn to excess. I know because I used to drink 1-2 diet soft drinks a day. Lost a lot of weight once I gave them up (in addition to other changes).

      July 10, 2013 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • robert

      and the acid in the drinks decay teeth and upset the lining of the stomach

      July 10, 2013 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • krehator

      I drink soda. Ex-Smoker. Chew tobacco. 41 years old. Still have my nice teeth and great health.

      Bread, milk, and many processed foods does damage too because they STICK to teeth and gums. But hey, no one wants to talk about that. Many studies never take into account if people care of their teeth in the first place by brushing. If you don't brush and floss, not drinking soda is not going to safe your teeth. It's all about shock factor. Like taking a nail and putting it into soda and claiming its bad because the nail rusts. However it does the same thing in a glass of water. Who the heck leaves soda in their mouth for hours or days????? Very misleading.

      But hey... I guess profits from health/diet books, gym gear, and supplements have nothing to do with any of the misleading info. sigh.

      July 10, 2013 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
    • Moonbutterfly

      If someone can make the jump for regular soda to diet, then why is it so hard for people to just drink water. If you need some flavor, throw fruit into an ice cube tray before freezing.

      July 10, 2013 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
    • anon

      you commented 12 minutes after this article was posted – did you really read the whole article and Cell paper, or did you just skim the headline and pitch in your counterfeit and worthless 2 cents

      July 10, 2013 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    Why is this story flagged "new"? You've been trotting out studies that say this every year for the last decade.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. mc

    So it is like light cigarettes. Another marketing gimmick. The big question is whether or not the soda companies knew about this.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • krehator

      The health industry is full of gimmicks too. There are no good guys in this debate.

      July 10, 2013 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
    • heywood

      yes, lets start a class action law suit and sue them to death!!!!

      July 10, 2013 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
    • nate

      it's not a gimmick, there's virtually zero calories in diet soda. something with no calories can't cause fat gain directly

      July 10, 2013 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yes, of course, another mass conspiracy where an evil organization is in cahoots with the even more evil CNN. Ugh. This truly is the place where all delusional paranoids gather to rant.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:02 | Report abuse |
    • rh

      Another case of "we think there is a link" and leaving out the "we think" part. I don't see percentages. I don't see actual blood tests and controls.

      My 7th grader had to do a control with his experiment. Take people with the exact same weight, and have one set drink diet soda, another set regular soda, and another set water only. Then you can see if there is an effect.

      And the part in particular about "the taste of sweet causing the release of insulin" is bullcrap – the Atkins diet includes grilled meats (with nothing but oil or butter) and they taste sweet, and you don't die from hyperinsulinemia. I crave sweet when I drink diet soda, or water, or anything when not on the Atkins diet. On the Atkins diet, it does not matter if I drink diet soda or water or flavored water, I *DON'T* crave sweets. Period. End of sentence.

      Note that this is an "opinion" piece.

      July 10, 2013 at 22:44 | Report abuse |
  4. breed7

    "Diet soda drinkers also tend to pack on more pounds than those who don’t, the report says."

    Let me guess, Danielle Dellorto - high school dropout? Didn't pay attention in English class? The sentence above means:

    Diet soda drinkers also tend to pack on more pounds than those who don't pack on more pounds.

    It's like the article was written by a slow 12-year-old.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Meghan

      LOL

      Actually, the sentence means:
      Diet soda drinkers also tend to pack on more pounds than those who do NOT drink diet soda or regular soda.

      But..good effort, breed7

      July 10, 2013 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • lean6

      Grammar Cop is such a dangerous profession...you never know when you'll get caught in the crossfire.

      July 10, 2013 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
    • Mh

      Who cares,

      July 10, 2013 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Megan, that's what the sentence is SUPPOSED to mean. Breed7 was pointing out the actual grammatical meaning of the sentence, which was clearly an unintended error.

      July 10, 2013 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      Hilarious!!

      July 10, 2013 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
    • linguist

      Actually the sentence in ambiguous and can be interpreted either way. Also, it is not a grammar issue, it is a semantic issue. Grammar has to do with whether something fits the rules of word ordering, semantics has to do with the interpretation of the words.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
    • anon

      breed7 is right, the rest of you are morons. you wouldn't say "diet soda drinkers are larger than those who don't"

      the only way to interpret that sentence by the rules of english grammar is as breed7 described. it's an error

      July 10, 2013 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • breed7

      I see the sentence was fixed. Where's my fee for copy editing?

      And, "linguist," you seem not to know the difference between a error in semantics and an error in syntax. The error was syntactical, which is part of grammar, thereby making it a grammatical error.

      But better luck next time, "linguist."

      July 11, 2013 at 01:01 | Report abuse |
  5. wny

    Its because some people think diet foods means you don't have to exercise. A diet soda soda does no good when you superzize the Big Mac and french fries.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EXACTLY

      And get an extra large (64 oz) Diet Coke...

      July 10, 2013 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • John

      What do those foods have to do with the point you were TRYING to make, about exercise? ADHD, such that you can't finish one thought before beginning another? Perhaps you've had too much caffeine with your soda.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:28 | Report abuse |
  6. CJ

    It would be interesting to see this compared to coffee and other drinks flavored with artificial sweeteners. Is it the sweetener that causes the problems? Some other component of soda? Are people who are more likely to drink diet also more likely to eat poorly? Or could these effects be contributed to some other factor entirely?

    July 10, 2013 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CJ

      I also wonder if, given the same exact meals, diet vs. regular soda would yield the same effects. Or if people who drink diet soda just eat more than people who drink regular and put on the same amount of weight because they're consuming the same amount of calories overall. If that makes sense. A lot of people prefer to eat their calories instead of drinking them. A big ol' bowl of fries is more satisfying than a big sugary drink IMO. 😉

      July 10, 2013 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
    • JustaGem

      So, what about the Propel Zero Calorie packets? They are to supplement electrolytes when getting exercise. Anyone know if those are bad for you?

      July 10, 2013 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
    • wrm

      The cause is that you consume more calories than you burn and you do so by choice. Period.

      July 11, 2013 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
  7. EXACTLY

    Aspertame & artificial sweetners are terrible for your body. I thought everyone knew diet soda was bad for you.

    I want to see how many people consume artificial sweetners all the time and have a higher risk of alzhiemer's.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Aone

    "Stevia...is not a chemical": Wrong! Everything we eat or drink, sugar, stevia, saccharine, even water is a chemical (or a mixture of them). Using "chemical" in this way is non-scientific name-calling and doesn't add to the real discussion of the health effects of our modern diet.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jordan

      My thoughts exactly. I just had to shake my head when I read that.

      July 10, 2013 at 17:43 | Report abuse |
  9. Morton

    Sugar is a chemical called sucrose. Stevia extract are glycosides also chemicals. When people write about science they should be required to understand a little about the subject.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wny

      Low calorie sweeteners just use a different form of sugar. people see 0 calories and fall for the gimmick. Basic high school chemistry

      July 10, 2013 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
    • John

      I see the point, however "sugar" comes in more forms than just sucrose.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
    • wrm

      Look at the body of the text. This is a religious article.

      July 11, 2013 at 00:14 | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      @wrm are me and you reading the same article here? i dont see anything in this that is even remotely religious.

      July 11, 2013 at 01:04 | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    Being a type 1 diabetic, I don't have many options. Any craving for sugar has long since passed.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • smirk

      I agree Chris – I am a healthy, type 1 diabetic and diet soda is my one outlet when I need a quick drink with more flavor than water. Can't have milk all the time, juice has too much sugar (even natural) and ice tea and coffee (for me) have to have sweetner and milk in them anyway. So, as much as I appreciate these articles, I think they are a waste of time. Until they tell me that I am absolutely going to suffer some horrible side effect from drinking diet soda, I am going to continue to drink my 2-3 a day (sometimes more, sometimes less). Right now, I have been drinking that for the last 30 years and I am overall healthy – so there!

      July 10, 2013 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
  11. Ajax

    I think this may be nonsense. I probably drink way more diet pepsi than I should but I don't have any particular cravings for sugar other than for a birthday cake once a year or an apple or an orange every other day. While I'm sure artificial sweeteners will eventually be found to be bad for other reasons, maybe brain cancer or something, I am absolutely positive that they are not as bad for me as all the vodka and cocaine I used to use when I was younger. All in all, I'd say it was a vast improvement.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tuffyturf

      Did you know that Fire Departments and Coroner's use 2 liter bottles of Regular Pepsi to clean blood off of pavement?

      If you ever have a nut or bolt or large anything that is completely stuck or rusted on, pour some Pepsi on it and wait a few minutes and it will come right off....

      Now think about what that is doing to your digestive track...

      July 10, 2013 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
    • Al CrushU

      did you know water can oxidize iron and turn it to dust? Or kill you if you drink too much of it? Gimme a break lol

      July 10, 2013 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
    • David

      False: http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/acid.asp

      July 10, 2013 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • Will S

      ...and some people even use *water* as a cleaning agent! Stop drinking water!

      July 10, 2013 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      We must stop all consumption of this hideous chemical called dihydrogen monoxide! it has a scary name and must be killing us! /sarcasm
      dihydrogen monoxide = H2O = water

      July 11, 2013 at 01:07 | Report abuse |
  12. tuffyturf

    I do not recall that Diet Soda was marketed as a way to avoid Strokes, Heart Disease or Diabetes. Of course, people who consume diet soda are still going to suffer from these ailments. However, the old adage, calories in and calories out does, l and always will hold true regardless of these scientific studies. Diet Soda is better than regular soda, the point here is that both are not good, and you should simply consume a nice glass of iced tea. "Scientists" do not even know why soap works, or how clouds form.. so it is safe to say, take any of these studies with a grain of salt, as a study contradicting these finding will come out any day now.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • really

      I'm pretty sure we know how soap works....

      July 10, 2013 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • JDMArkansas

      "Low calorie sweeteners just use a different form of sugar" is nonsense. They don't contain sugar, period. They contain other sweet substances (which means EXACTLY the same thing as "chemicals") OTHER than sugar. The statement "Diet Soda is better than regular soda." is also wrong. The study reported in this article (and numerous other studies reported for several years) show that Diet Soda is NOT better than regular soda for people who want to lose weight. Furthermore, the research does shed some light on the reason WHY Diet Soda is NOT better than regular soda. The American Beverage Association has an obvious monetary reason for claiming that diet soda is "safe and an effective tool in weight loss and weight management" even though it isn't. Their income is derived from sales of diet and non-diet soft drinks. Of course they are going to deny that their products are major contributers to obesity. They are protecting their wallets. Other nonsense in the posts here are '"Scientists" do not even know why soap works, or how clouds form.' WRONG! The molecular-level processes that underly how soap works have been known in great detail since the middle of the 20th century. Although there are some details about how clouds form that are still unclear, most of it is very well understood. Just because you are ignorant of science does not mean that "Scientists are dumb and don't know anything." Most of the garbage here about how "Artificial sweeteners cause cancer" and "They're made by the same people who make Agent Orange." are similarly idiotic.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
  13. Jeremy

    This is the biggest load of broscience BS I've ever read...

    July 10, 2013 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Bobba_Fett

    Wait, what "good" did anyone think ANY kind of soda did???

    When I *do* drink soda I'll only drink diet, but that's just to track calories! It's not doing me any good besides that – and that's why I eat and drink health, and exercise!

    Gosh why do these health "discoveries" pop up over and over and over again over the decades???

    July 10, 2013 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. krehator

    Nothing is good for you anymore. The water isn't even safe anymore.

    Look, if you want, go ahead and torture yourself with diets and worrying about dying. You will still die! There is no guarantee of a longer life.

    Reminds me of the fools complaining about second hand smoke, who then climb into their 14mpg SUV and release tons of toxins.

    Let people live the life they desire to live. When they die, they die.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      We're ALL going to end up there some day. Drink nothing but water and eat nothing but organic, then make sure you don't use that cell phone while driving and be sure to ALWAYS look both ways before you cross the street. Don't EVER fly in an airplane. In fact, don't EVER get out of bed in the morning as it is hazardous to your health. ;-). Why, you can't even take a breath of fresh, clean air as there is nowhere on earth where there is fresh, CLEAN air.

      July 10, 2013 at 22:08 | Report abuse |
  16. allenwoll

    .
    Chlorinated sucrose - Arrrkkkhhhhhh ! ! !
    .

    July 10, 2013 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. jpluttme

    "Low-calorie sweeteners are some of the most studied and reviewed ingredients in the food supply today..." And in most cases, those studies and evidence of harm to the human body are excluded from the reports or overlooked by politicians who accept donations from companies like Monsanto. Artificial sweeteners are not good for the body, and some, like Aspartame, have been shown to be carcinogenic. These companies spend millions on public relations campaigns to convince you that the poison you put in your body is A OK. Sugar in it's natural form is a million times better for your body than anything humans can manufacture artificially. That's not saying that eating loads of natural sugar is a good thing either.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Loki

    didja even notice how often we are told that what we thought was good for you is really bad for you

    July 10, 2013 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RichardSRussell

    "There are five FDA-approved artificial sweeteners ... All of them are chemicals."

    Well, duh! All of EVERY material substance is chemicals. It's called the atomic theory of matter. Maybe you've heard of some of its celebrities? Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, etc.?

    July 10, 2013 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • douglashicton

      You're confusing chemicals with elements.

      July 10, 2013 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Doug, check the periodic table for the CHEMICAL designation of all elements. You appear to be confusing chemicals with chemical compounds.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
  20. DarrellSF

    Hmmmm...so many opinions on here, but very few facts.

    If you want to know why obesity is such a challenge in the US, how about you think of these things first?

    Just above all these comments are articles telling you how to eat like Anne Hathaway with her Cat Woman Diet. And the 5 foods you should avoid at all cost. And diets that do work, and diets that don't work, and how we're all going to die when our fat blocks out the light of the sun. If your weight is constantly going up and down, and you're reading all these articles, I could understand why.

    Also, people are consistently starving themselves, then binge eating, to alternately look beautiful or fulfill their craving for food. That can't be good for your insulin and blood sugar levels.

    But probably, most importantly, how many people do you dismiss because they don't look like what you're taught is beautiful? How many people on this planet stuff their face with food, because that feels better than the fact no one sees you? (Yeah, watch the Dustin Hoffman video clip going around, and you might understand.)

    It's people like Kamikaze up above who call overweight people "fat overweight slobs" who reinforce all this sickness coming out of humanity. How about being a bit humane, since you are supposed to be human, after all.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OldJoe

      Fat Overweight Slobs?
      Hey' Obesity has been declared to be a disease.
      So the slobs can go on, and sue under ADA!
      As I said earlier, lemme have a Triple-Bacon-Cheeseburger!
      No problem, I'll make up for it with a diet soda.

      July 10, 2013 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
    • T

      Here's a "fact" for you: your post contained zero facts. You just asked us to think about things.

      July 10, 2013 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
  21. blackcat

    Do as I say, but not as I do.

    And...

    I say DRINK IT UP!

    July 10, 2013 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Polar Bear

    I've dropped 40 pounds over the last year. Still drink Diet Coke, but not as much as I used to. I think they still put 'caine in it! Aspartame is not good for you. Used to get headaches a lot. Cut back on aspartame – significantly – and don't get headaches anymore.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Margaret

      Could have been the caffeine, When you drink less coffee, tee, or colas you take in less and it can give you a headache for a while. But moderation is probably the key.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
  23. OldJoe

    Triple-Bacon-Cheeseburger and a diet soda!
    YESSSSSS!

    July 10, 2013 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. tuffyturf

    And that is why I only drink 100% Organic Free Range soda, that is allowed to graze on pure sugarcane and is naturally sweetened from within, and then humanely bottled.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Susie

      Awesome response!!

      July 10, 2013 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
  25. Glauber

    All of these sodas are monstrously terrible for one's health. From skin to heart, they're just awful.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Polar Bear

    Unless you track what you eat (calories) and work out (sweat), you will not lose weight or keep it off. I sat on the couch for 10 years thinking I would eat my way to fitness. Obviously, doesn't work. All of these fad diets are making a few people rich, but when it comes right down to it, it's simple. Eat right and work out.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Dr Tom

    "Natural sweeteners, like Stevia ... is not a chemical." Anyone who makes a statement like that should not be reporting on scientific studies. Of course Stevia is a chemical. So is water. It may be a naturally occuring chemical, not an artificial chemical. And, yes, natural chemicals can be bad for you too, – eg., rattlesnake poison, hemlock juice (used by Socrates to commit suicide, ricin, poison ivy sap – to name a few really bad ones.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Aspartame Free

    Reality Check:

    Monsanto's Aspartame causes BRAIN TUMORS ...

    Yes the SAME Monsamto that brought us the wonders ofr Agent Orang, DDT, Round-Up and "Round-Up Ready" Genetically Modified Seeds ... The Frankenstein Driven Creator of the Chemical Industry.

    Do a search if you dare ...

    July 10, 2013 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gmantis

      I take it that you have already performed a scholarly review of the liteture to make such a definitive statement? Please cite your peer-reviewed sources.

      July 10, 2013 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Cell phones cause brain tumors too, but I'll bet you had one close to your ear at least once within the last hour.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Gmantis, if you want to try to prove you have superior intellect, check the correct spelling of the word "literature" BEFORE you use it.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
  29. Monster Rockstar Red Bull

    Drink my energy drinks instead. Much better for you!

    July 10, 2013 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mark

      rofl that messes with you too

      July 10, 2013 at 20:10 | Report abuse |
  30. Mopery

    That's why I only drink beer.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Annie

      cheers 🙂

      July 10, 2013 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Great idea. Been around for centuries. Spotted Cow, anyone? Bottoms up!

      July 10, 2013 at 21:50 | Report abuse |
  31. Gmantis

    The key part is that any "so-called" science or medical articles on CNN, are worthless. There are a few quotes regarding some opinions, but what conclusions can be drawn by the reader from that? The studies are not cited and no "Results" from the studies provided. The only thing this article does is raise a lot of question. – What studies have been done? What were the controls? What parameters where measured and how? Did they compare diet soda drinkers to water drinkers, tea drinkers, sport drink drinkers or regular soda drinkers? Were the diet soda drinkers affluent, poor, educated? How many people particiated? how long did the studies last? Did they start with healthy non diet soda drinkers or where these people drinking diet soda for years, How old were the participants? etc etc etc.
    Just another CNN non-news peice to fill in their 24 hour no-new-news cycle.

    Too much of any thing, even water, can be a bad thing. Use common sense, don't over-induldge and your body will thank you.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris R

      The link to the study in the first paragraph. If you aren't willing to follow the obvious links to find the source material there isn't much else anyone can do for you.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
  32. MrHighMighty

    It's the same way with non-alcoholic beer, tricking the body and leading to higher consumption and other problems in the long run. So stick with the natural stuff, moderation in all things.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      You really believe non-alcoholic beer is for that purpose? REALLY? LOL!!!

      July 10, 2013 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yup, stick with the real thing, it's better for you. I'll take a Samuel Adams please and thank you.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
  33. Jeff

    Drink water.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. lyd

    good ol' water for me with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Russ

    "Natural sweeteners, like Stevia [...] increases your health risks similar to artificial sweeteners."

    Suuuuuure it does.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Katie

    Yeah, I heard this over a year ago. I consume diet soda every day. Not tons of it, just a can or two at most, in the morning. I don't drink coffee or take caffeine in any other way. When someone sent me the article, with the caveat "I care about your weight", I decided to do something about the weight. I lost 20 pounds in a little over six months. How? By paying attention to what I ate and how much and by paying attention to how active I was in the course of a day. I did NOT stop drinking diet soda. I've kept it off now for about six months. My cholesterol went down 50 points. My blood pressure didn't change (it was always low) and I do NOT crave carbs. Sometimes I think articles like this do more harm than good. People tend to eat more because they are drinking diet soda because they think they are being good about calories, because they have developed the habit of drinking diet coke with their hamburger & fries or with their chips & dips. Cut out the burger & fries and the chips and dips and they will lose weight, I guarantee you.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert55

      cut out soda....even better.

      July 11, 2013 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
  37. hotstuffinpdx

    What your body really wants is water

    July 10, 2013 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      Yes it does. So go check the ingredient list on a can of diet soda, then tell us what the number one ingredient is.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
  38. Milli F. Vanilli

    Given enough time, researchers will spin their "issue of the month" wheel and diet soda will be said to have some magic benefits.

    Eat and drink whatever you want, just do so in moderation, and you'll be fine.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. smartaz

    Oh noes!!! Ban them now!!!

    July 10, 2013 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. adfkjhwjhjk

    ""Scientists" do not even know why soap works, or how clouds form.. so it is safe to say, take any of these studies with a grain of salt, as a study contradicting these finding will come out any day now."

    Umm, soap? Really? If you took grade school science you should know how soap works. Its quite easy to understand.... Yes, chemists know how soap works, its very well understood because its a simple mechanism. Cloud formation is also a fairly simple mechanism.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gmantis

      Yea, don't blame scientist! Blame CNN for it's incompetent ablity to report on science.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
  41. Trevor

    “Saccharin was one of the first commercially-available artificially sweeteners, and it’s actually a derivative of tar,” says Swithers.

    I think this is a little misleading. According to Wikipedia (I know, not the best source), the person who first discovered Saccharin was working on coal tar derivatives and noticed a sweetness on his hands afterwards. The statement above though makes it sound like their creating batches of tar and extracting the saccharin.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Eduardo

    I may not be an expert because I only drink about 8 cans of Caffeine Free Diet Coke a day, but I feel this is not a real study. They are preaching that something they don't like is bad for you without knowing how the body processes the chemicals in our food. Again, I am only 70 years old and have been drinking sodas all my life (never drink coffee, milk or tea), so I may not be the target audience of this study. But, please, understand that everything you put in your mouth is processed as a chemical. Some are thought to be better than others but all affect your body a little bit. Some of the cravings are in our minds and not necessarily driven by what we ate or drank.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Dawn Kiebals

    I don't always drink soda but when I do, I prefer diet. Stay thirsty my friends.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gmantis

      Thanks for the laugh!

      July 10, 2013 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
  44. Get Realist

    "Natural sweeteners, like Stevia – which has no calories and is 250 times sweeter than regular sugar – is not a chemical..."

    Huh. Lot of great "science" going on in this article. Great grammar too.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Amazed2

    GOP please pass some laws addressing this threat. We all deserve the right to be large and obese if we want to.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. zante

    "If someone can make the jump for regular soda to diet, then why is it so hard for people to just drink water. If you need some flavor, throw fruit into an ice cube tray before freezing."

    Well, they drink soda the same reason people drink lemonade or iced tea or beer or punch. Water is good, and I drink lots of it per day, but sometimes you want a different taste. Water has its value, and some other drinks are just for pleasure.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glen

      fruit contains sugar and spikes insulin. Are you suggesting a diabetic drink juice?

      July 10, 2013 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
  47. Nene

    "I'd like a Big mac, large fries, and diet coke" How much you want to bet this phrase seriously biases the results of this study.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glen

      Exactly. An editor should have caught this before they ran with it, but I don't think those exist anymore.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:34 | Report abuse |
  48. Annie

    Anyone can say something is bad for you. People have to live and enjoy life. You only live once and I don't think enjoying any kind of beverages or foods in moderation is going to kill you! How miserable it must be to monitor everything and have to pass up a food/beverage you might enjoy.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Ebenezer

    I liked the article until it described all artificial sweeteners as "chemicals". Everything we eat is made of chemicals. Ever heard of the chemical sucrose? Or H2O? The author needs to take a high school science class.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glen

      Which is precisely why you should disregard the study and the article. It is a puff piece with poorly researched evidence which ignores the behavioral for the average person who drinks these things in excess.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • Ebenezer

      The CNN author is ignorant, but I agree with the study (read the original article in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, published by Cell Press).

      July 10, 2013 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
  50. Vijay

    I generally buy only Organic Cane sugar, I don't even buy normal sugar. If I go to Starbucks, i only put Raw sugar than normal or sweeteners. Initially I used to drink Diet coke, Pepsi and so on... Now I am drinking Dr. Pepper that too very rare. Please don't put artificial sweeteners.

    July 10, 2013 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RJ

      Organic Raw Sugar... there's a funny one.
      In order to get sugar cane into a usable product, it has to be processed with lye.
      Period, end of discussion.
      It is no safer for you than Stevia or any other processed plant derived sugar.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
    • d$

      ....your body processes sugar all the same....sugar is sugar is sugar. This kind of thinking is why America is so fat.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
    • Glen

      Raw sugar, cane sugar, honey, pasta, potatoes... all those convert to sugar once consumed which will make you obese 100 times faster than any artificial sweetener would do. This study is insanely flawed because it does what every other study saying this does, ignores the behavioral aspect of people who drink an excess of diet soda. Generally they have poor eating habits already. If they did the same study with people who ate better it would 'prove' the opposite.

      July 10, 2013 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.