home
RSS
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 (787 Responses)
  1. FLuke P. Skyknockers

    I wonder just how many of these responses are from the beverage corporations? There's only like two or three that produce them all.

    I personally look at every label for Sucrolose, Aspartame, etc. I don't want that crap anywhere near my body. Same with high fructose corn syrup.

    July 10, 2013 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      So here is the deal: The study looked at two groups of people – one the diet soda drinkers and the other the sugar sweetened sodas. These are not comparable groups. Diet soda drinkers are made up of two cohorts. One is the group that tended to gain weight easily and may have had bad dietary habits as kids. The second cohort is people with body dismorphism. The sugar drinkers tend to be normal. The diet drinkers are not normal and never were. This study is comparing groups that are so different that the study is meaningless.

      July 10, 2013 at 22:27 | Report abuse |
    • Erik L

      I agree. However, I recently read that high fructose corn syrup is essentially no worse than sugar. I don't know, but it is something to look into.

      I am getting a kick out of all the science geeks freaking out over use of the term "chemical." (Everything is a chemical!) It's as if someone asked you to open the window to let some air inside, and you lectured them about how there already is air inside or you would be dead. Calm down, people!

      July 11, 2013 at 03:23 | Report abuse |
  2. Oogie

    All of the artificial sweeteners seem to upset my tummy, I can't stand them. No idea why. "But you get use to it." Uh, no, thanks, I choose not to get used to something that bothers me. I'll just have my occasional regular Pepsi and not worry about it.

    July 10, 2013 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ag

    This study sounds extremely dumb. How does my body know that sugar is expected when I drink soda? Even when I drink water, my body should expect sugar and release insulin???

    July 10, 2013 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      This comment is absolutely petrifying. Perfect example of the poor American education system.

      July 10, 2013 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      ummm I hope you are being sarcastic.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:04 | Report abuse |
    • Peon

      Homer ? Doh !

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

      the short answer is "your brain".

      think about it this way – when you eat a lemon, your brain notices the sourness, and tells your mouth to make a bunch of saliva to counteract the sourness. these studies SUGGEST (but don't prove) that it might be the same way with sugar. In other words, the brain notices the sweetness, so it puts insulin into your blood to help store it.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
    • T

      No. Studies that measure the effect of artificial sweeteners on blood sugar levels or blood insulin levels show no statistically significant effect in humans. Your brain is not effecting your blood sugar or insulin levels! You can make analogies all you want, but that doesn't make it any more plausible - since when we test whether the body really works that way we find that it doesn't!

      July 10, 2013 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
    • TickedinNY

      Is that really what you "learned" from this article?

      July 10, 2013 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
    • T

      Actually, if you read the report this article links to YES, that is what I learned! The report this article links to has a whole section on the psysiological effects of artificial sweeteners - and it talks about how there is NO effect on blood sugar or insulin levels when artificial sweeteners are taken alone. Why this CNN blog post ignores this part of the report they are linking to is a mystery to me.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • darla

      That statement is extreme brilliance at it's best. Do you also refer to the sixth grade as " your senior year"??

      July 10, 2013 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
    • Hormonal Chick

      Hoder? Hoder! Hoder Hoder!

      July 10, 2013 at 22:31 | Report abuse |
    • Florist

      What sounds dumb is that CNN hired a science writer who doesn't know what a chemical is. She claims that Stevia "isn't a chemical" and that all of the artificial sweeteners "are chemicals." Apparently, she thinks that anything bad is a "chemical" and anything natural isn't one. Everything is made of chemicals. Everything. Water is a chemical. Your hands are made of chemicals. The computer you are at right now is made of chemicals. I am extremely saddened that CNN not only hired this person, but that this article made it past copyediting with this ignorant idea.

      July 11, 2013 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
  4. gphillips

    This statement "is not a chemical, but is still a processed extract of a natural plant" made me realize that the person writing this is clearly not fit to write about science or chemistry. Even if something is extracted from a plant it is still a chemical, water is a chemical!!

    July 10, 2013 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Belfrey

      I agree, that jumped out at me as an obviously false statement that cast some doubt on the author. What the heck is stevia supposed to consist of, if not chemicals? Dark matter?

      July 10, 2013 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
    • bob aussie

      Hopefully the majority of CNN readers know that "chemicals" are essentially what make up matter as we know it. Of course there are those "spiritualists' that know better without needing any education. Maybe this writer is one of those types.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:27 | Report abuse |
    • Bob S

      I agree, too. I work for a chemical company and get tired of seeing people bash "chemicals" when they have no clue as to what they are talking about. As the other poster correctly wrote, "Everything is a chemical." People get all upset seeing ingredients on foods, for example, listed with the long "chemical" names. To use a different example (being sarcastic here), who in there right mind would swollow "Acetylsalicylic acid"? UMG, that will kill you right!? It's a nasty chemical! Oh, wait...Acetylsalicylic acid is simply the chemical name for...wait for it...Aspirin. And, of course, there is the deadly "dihydrogen monoxide." 🙂

      July 10, 2013 at 22:35 | Report abuse |
  5. Josh

    I've drank diet sodas for years and have ZERO sweet tooth. As the years go by, I actually drink more diet soda and crave less sweets.

    This article is ridiculous. 0 calories is 0 calories. You drink 0 calories, you don't gain weight. You drink 0 calories plus 5 cakes and 12 donuts and 18 slushees, yes, you do gain weight!

    The trick to realize is that diet drinks don't subtract calories from other foods that actually contain calories. That's what this article should have been about.

    July 10, 2013 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeff S

      Umm. Weight gain/loss is not exclusive to caloric intake.

      Holy crap.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
    • jjam

      The point of the article, apparently, is that it's not so simple.

      Good job boss.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:08 | Report abuse |
    • th3quorum

      Jeff S- yes it is. You must not have seen many starving people in your travels. You could eat only twinkies for a month and lose weight provided you retained a calorie deficit. You would have some other serious health issues from lack of nutrients, but your ass would lose weight.

      Let me repeat for emphasis, because it's a complicated point: If your body burns more calories than it consumes, it will look to other sources of fuel from within–fat and some muscle tissue (and eventually muscle tissue period).

      July 10, 2013 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
    • Hormonal Chick

      Who the heck is dumb enough to think diet drinks can subtract calories from other foods??!

      July 10, 2013 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
    • joe

      keep drinking your loving diet soda then! You know it's really healthy and good for you...don't listen to that evil science!

      July 10, 2013 at 22:36 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      @th3quorum: The calories in vs. calories out myth has been thoroughly debunked, nutritional science is great here in the 21st century, come join us!

      July 10, 2013 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    sorry, don't believe it. I've been drinking diet soda for 30 years and I'm healthier than all my friends who drink coffee and red wine. These sweeteners DO NOT CAUSE cancer or other illnesses..they are broken down in your body like the other foods you eat into the basic chemicals that are in fruit and meats. What should be studied is the effect the caffeine in the soda has. I believe the caffeine can cause health problems including insulin imbalance. They should study only caffeine free diet sodas. VoodooMike is right about the cohert studies and how it's junk research. Who funded this...problem the tea industry.

    July 10, 2013 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Flash

      100% chance the IP address from these response are from servers owned by Coke or Pepsi

      July 10, 2013 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
    • Kris Wood

      When you get a kidney stone, the first question they ask is "Do you drink a lot of diet cola?". Tell me again about how its better?

      July 10, 2013 at 22:00 | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Um, maybe you should reread the article.

      July 10, 2013 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
    • T

      Maybe someone should read the bloody report that this article links to! If you read that report you'll find a whole section which talks about how the scientific consensus is that artificial sweeteners have NO physiological effect. The gap between what the bloody report says and what this CNN blog post claims it says is ridiculously wide. The fact that the author of that report gave the "quotes" in this blog post is also hard to believe... if the quotes are genuine then the author is being transparently disingenuous since they WROTE A REPORT that contradicts what they're allowing themselves to be quoted on.

      July 10, 2013 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
  7. douglashicton

    My beef with artificial sweeteners is that they taste horrible. There's a very unpleasant, metallic aspartame aftertaste. Diet Coke tastes like a mouthful of old pennies.

    I don't have a sweet tooth anyway and I've never liked pop except for club soda. I even prefer tomato juice to sweeter juices like apple or orange.

    Best of all is water. And not that "vitamin water" scam either, just good, honest water, no ice.

    July 10, 2013 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 123elle

      I don't think those diet soft drinks are good enough to even waste money on. Who needs fake-tasting sweetness? I drink seltzer water if I want "fizz" - club soda is different and actually contains sodium. Seltzer Is plain water with bubbles from carbon dioxide, no additives. But plain water is best, nice and cold, nothing better.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Agree. Hate the fake sweetener. I do think the study is off that natural stevia is bad also.

      But anyway, I can't stand the artificial sweetener. That said, while I enjoy a good pop once in awhile, I try to limit my sodas to once every couple days.

      July 10, 2013 at 22:33 | Report abuse |
  8. J

    How is this news? If this is new information to you, maybe consider reconsidering every other item you swallow on a daily basis.

    July 10, 2013 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Pensimmon

    Why drink or eat junk food at all? I don't. Why would you put garbage in your body? The whole discussion is crazy, when they're talking about two evils.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. MT

    "Low-calorie sweeteners are some of the most studied and reviewed ingredients in the food supply today."

    Whoa, learn to read for content. The study was about ZERO calorie sweeteners, not LOW calorie sweeteners. The science suggests sweet-without-sugar leads to the chain-reaction problem. Either address the science head-on, or STFU with your spin.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • T

      What are you talking about? There is no distinction between a "zero calorie sweetener" and a "low calorie sweetener" that I am aware of. All the sweeteners discussed in the report are low calorie sweeteners. They are only considered "zero calorie" sweeteners because they are so potent that a very small amount can be added to a drink while only increasing its total caloric content by a couple calories. In the US, if something has 5 calories or fewer per serving it can be marketed as zero calorie.

      July 10, 2013 at 21:21 | Report abuse |
  11. Dr. Alex Brulov

    “No one is saying cut it out completely,” says Swithers. But you SHOULD cut it out completely. Just stop drinking soda, regular or unleaded. You'll lose weight and feel better..

    July 10, 2013 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Declan Morris

    If diet soda were hazardous, I'd have been dead 30 years ago...

    July 10, 2013 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. John

    "Flash

    100% chance the IP address from these response are from servers owned by Coke or Pepsi"

    That's about as likely as there is a 100% chance that you are one of the study's authors.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jeremy

    Click on the report. Scroll down and look at the top left. It says "Opinion". And before you accuse me of working for "the beverage industry", tell me why the beverage industry should care about 300 comments on some obscure filler article posted by a 24 year old girl.

    I'm sick of all the paranoia about Diet Soda. I hate pseudo science. Anti-vaxxers also annoy me.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Chris Barnett, MD

    "No one is saying cut it out completely." Actually, this is EXACTLY what I've been saying, for a few years now. Diet sodas (and "real" sodas) are near the top of my "Ugly" list. I recommend to all of the Fit and Happy Project members to find other sources for a pick-me-up, such as tea and coffee (assuming they are not vulnerable to some of the adverse effects of caffeine). I myself enjoy espresso. Just my personal 2 cents (not giving medical advice here).

    July 10, 2013 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Florist

      I'm giving medical advice. Cut out the aspartame if you have fibromyalgia. Once I learned that it aggravated the symptoms, I cut it out completely. The results were so good I was able to cut down on my medication and still felt better than before. I don't know that it causes the fibro, but it sure as heck aggravates it and makes it much, much more painful. If you have it and like diet sodas, switch to Splenda-sweetened sodas. There are a lot of them on the market.

      July 11, 2013 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
  16. skeptical

    I used to drink one diet soda for lunch, everyday. I gave it up six months ago, drink water instead, and I feel great. The beverage companies can say what they want, but if you give the stuff up, you'll see the difference.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. This article LOL

    this article is not even beginning to explain how bad diet soda is.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Chris

    I think it is okay to drink cola or diet cola. Why does everything have to be dooms day. Don't drink it like water and you will be okay. End of story. I think there is a much worse epidemic of over-eating, and smoking in this country than the abuse of artificial sweetner drinks.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 123elle

    I don't think those diet soft drinks are good enough to even waste money on. Who needs fake-tasting sweetness? I drink seltzer water if I want "fizz" - club soda is different and actually contains sodium. Seltzer Is plain water with bubbles from carbon dioxide, no additives. But plain water is best, nice and cold, nothing better.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rickapolis

    PLUS, it tastes terrible.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. savingdaniel

    Please liberals and Mormons, PLEASE keep guzzling down skim milk and aspartame and high fructose corn syrup, PLEASE. I BEG OF YOU!

    July 10, 2013 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. TheTruth

    Aspartame, also known by the brand name Nutrasweet, is made up of three components: 50% phenylalanine (a chemical that affects human brain activity by transmitting impulses), 40% aspartic acid and 10% methanol (poisonous wood alcohol).

    This stuff is poison people i laugh at all the people who think this stuff is more healthy than regular cola phenylalanine can cause brain seizures and methanol is poisonous to the human body Methanol quickly converts to formadehyde in the body.

    Basic chemistry Aspartame+human saliva= Formaldehyde this stuff is even worse it get stored in fat cells the stuff is HIGHLY carcinogenic.

    How it got passed by the FDA is amazing all the animal studies showed monkeys ended up getting brain seizures and no long term studies were done with cancer.
    Oh wait who was the CEO Donald Rumsfeld that explains it.............
    My mother guzzled diet cola like crazy and ended up dying from brain cancer the government is covering up this stuff on how bad it really is need more proof just watch Jessie Ventura Conspiracy Theory i did tons of chemistry research and he is right.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      Phenylalanine and aspartic acid are amino acids that are a part of the chemicals called proteins that you eat ever day.

      July 10, 2013 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
    • Steven CaboWabo

      Contains Methanol? Yes, and so do many fruits and veggies. It is bound in foods. Likewise oxygen contains hydrogen which by itself is bad for a person. So best avoid that right? No.
      Please use a brain.

      July 10, 2013 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
    • Don

      @Steve's your talking rain drop vs pond they don't metabolize the same due to the amounts you don't eat baskets of fruit or a side of beef but people do ingest gallons of diet soda esp on very hot days.
      1 can of diet soda has 20 mg of methanol which breaks down into 6 mg of formaldehyde which is three times the daily EPA limit.
      http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/methanol.faq

      July 11, 2013 at 03:10 | Report abuse |
  23. Steven CaboWabo

    Some people still don't know the difference coincidence and proven cause and effect.
    "Diet soda drinkers also tend to pack on more pounds than those who don’t drink it, the report says."'
    And most people on insulin are diabetic and the sun comes up when roosters crow. Does insulin and the roosters cause those things?
    Now, look for a study that monitors all food intake, all exercise, a persons body weight and does so in a controlled environment where amounts are measured, recorded, over a large number of people. Guess what if the same people are on a 1200 calorie day food intake and drink 5 diet cokes, and the other group is on a 1200 calorie day food intake and drink 5 regular cokes, the second group will loose weight as fast as the first group.
    Does diet soda cause a person to feel hungrier than a person that consumes regular soda? Yes. No duh. Also a person that consumes 5 cups of water feels hungrier than a person that consumes 5 cans of sugary pop.
    Bottom line, if you want to manage your calorie consumptions of other foods and your cravings, diet soda won't help and for some people it may make it harder. If you are eating well and have your total calorie intake and outtake in control and you want a sweet taste treat without consuming more calories and in this situation weight increase then enjoy your diet soda.

    July 10, 2013 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Mr B

    The 'sweet tooth' is a myth. It is invented by people who are lacking elsewhere in life and have to turn to sweets for comfort. If you just simply stop eating sweets, the craving eventually goes away. I rarely eat sweets, and I drink 1 20 oz. bottle of coke per week(real coke not diet). I do not crave sweets. I like the taste of Coke(hence the 1 bottle per week) but I do not crave it and could live without it completely if I so choose to. It is just like smoking. If you simply stop smoking, you will eventually not have the urge to smoke(again I know this for a fact, because I quit many years ago cold turkey).

    July 10, 2013 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Joe Kuehn

    One comment only on this subject Diet soda may do more harm than good

    Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Drink water

    July 10, 2013 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. stardust

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame_controversy

    July 10, 2013 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Nanners

    Common sense people....common sense. Use it, teach it to your kids. It's been lost. The only soda that is O.K. to drink is soda made with REAL cane sugar. Then only in moderation. Eat a mostly vegetable diet with maybe a third lean protein as well. Not all meat, not all veggies. The more processed food is, the worse it is for you....common sense.

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

      Sorry. That doesn't make sense to me. Care to do a few scientific studies to back up your claims? If you don't, then I think I'll get my nutrition advice from those who DO CARE enough to actually do rigorous research instead of just repeating, as fact, the random noise they hear from within their social circles.

      July 10, 2013 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • nanners

      You need a scientific study to tell you to eat naturally and healthy like a normal human being should? You need a scientific study to tell you that the more processed food is, the worse it is for you? Common sense people...use it.

      July 11, 2013 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
  28. Jack

    Ha, ha, ha. Me and my brothers have known and joked about this since we were kids. Has anyone ever really seen a thin person drinking diet soda? It's always the fat ones sucking down a diet Pepsi. LOL. Way to waste money on yet another pointless study. If you're fat, drink water and lay off the cheese burgers. Pretty simple stuff.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Lodril

    People who drink diet soda are more likely to be diabetic? Holy misleading correlation, Batman!

    July 10, 2013 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Name*serg.p

    They want people to be addicted to that, so they will constantly buy it, included some ingredients wich used in drugs. Not interested in health of the people. Real reason for " siantificly not proven " reaspond.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. southside mike

    I drink diet soda for the caffeine, and the liquid refreshment.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. cocopuf

    Mu 2-bits in 4U:

    Long term use of ANY soda's and coffee (especially expresso's) particularly on an empty stomach will give you a HIGHER risk of STOMACH problems such as GSERD as a result of a weaker spinkter (acid moving up your esophagus and eventually eating away your protective lining) as well as ulcers of the duodenum part of you right side of the stomach. Some people are susceptible to cancer of the stomach too as a result of frequently drinking strong black coffee.

    These are true statements ... you can ask any internist or stomach specialist.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. rh

    This is all about people thinking diet soda is the issue. I use it to help cut calories, but I know that if I have a burger and diet soda, all I"m missing out on is a little sugar.

    And if someone is not fat, but drinks diet soda, it may be that they were fat in the past, and metabolic syndrome, whether under control weight-wise or not, is a risk factor for the illnesses mentioned.

    I have never seen any of these studies give an alternative except for plain water, and sometimes you just don't want plain water, and you don't want the calories of a "regular" drink.

    Coffee drinking is much worse.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Db1

    Rule of thumb-in excess almost anything is bad for you and in moderation almost nothing is bad for you

    July 10, 2013 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. boofer

    holy crap, how are we still questioning this? of course it is bad for you!! jeez, reading these headlines like this are just so stupid. no one in their right mind thinks this is GOOD for them. they might still drink it and know it is bad, that is whatever, but to say "maybe more harm than good?" it was never good. F'ing people.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Take it from me

    You think you're in control of what you eat and drink. You think you "choose" to drink these sodas. Guess what: you're addicted plain and simple. You're out of control, subject to your cravings and addiction.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. richardecredico

    In other news today, cigarette smoking may be harmful to your health.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. TimmyMac

    I guess this is one of the good things about being a type 1 diabetic (if there are any.) My body doesn't produce any insulin whatsoever, so theres no confusion. If I drink regular soda, I'll give myself insulin, If I drink diet, I'll just skip the shot. I've been fairly thin my whole life, partly because of diabetes, and partly because I don't ingest as much pure sugar as most people my age.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. What'sDoneIsDone

    What a hilarious question to ask! Society...

    July 10, 2013 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Eat Natural Ingredients

    It's always better to eat natural ingredients than created ones. Another example to stick with the normal rather than a modified man-made one is butter versus margarine.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Steve

    "All of them are chemicals." Impressively stupid and meaningless comment. Sugars are chemicals. Proteins are chemicals. Fats are chemicals. Everything is a chemical. The author of this article id a disgrace.

    July 10, 2013 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Bill Carson

    I've been drinking about 6-9 cans a day of Diet Coke for more than 25 years. Surely, surely, if it was bad for you I would be dead or have cancer or something bad. Yet, I'm still waiting to something horrible to happen. It seems to me that some people are fixated on the artificial sweeteners and have emotional decided that they are bad WITHOUT having scientific evidence. So, excuse me, but this article is like many others I've seen–short on science and long on opinion and emotion.

    July 10, 2013 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tammy P

      I'm with you on this...I've been drinking diet Pepsi for the past 20 years and have maintained the same weight of 130 lbs, exercise regulary, have 3 healthy children and have 0 health issues. Excuse me while I go crack open another can! 🙂

      July 10, 2013 at 23:21 | Report abuse |
  43. Avery

    The headline on the homepage has a question mark at the end, which is a sure sign that the premise of the question isn't true...then the headline on this page doesn't have a question mark, implying that the statement is true...then the first sentence says diet soda drinkers and regular soda drinkers and the same issues...should I keep reading or am I going to get more confused?!

    July 10, 2013 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Chris

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

    It is a chemical! Everything around you is a chemical. Water is a bleeping chemical. Did you people ever take a chemistry class????

    July 10, 2013 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Josh

    This is news? Soda is absolutely terrible for you period. And the aspartame in diet soda might as well be a poison. High fructose syrup isnt good fpr you either. Drink water, unseetened tea, and juice is ok every once in a while. All the comments defending soda is why americans are so fat.

    July 10, 2013 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. MrRash

    How about this: drink water. It's what your body wants and needs. Stop drinking soda. Stop eating so much sugar and meat. Eat more vegetables.

    July 10, 2013 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Josh

      Actually meat is very good for you. Men and body builders espe, cially need it. This vegetarian bull is just that, bull. Meat, nuts, bread cheese, vegetables. Need all of that. Fruit is ok but too much is bad as it has a lot of sugar.

      Stop with the soda, candy, chips, mcdonalds, pizza (once in a while is fine), alcohol (glass of red wine is ok), coffee, sweetened tea, sugary cereal like fruit loops. You will be much better off.

      July 10, 2013 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
  47. Tim

    If you drink soda every day you aren't very concerned with your health to begin with.

    July 10, 2013 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. mlg4035

    No surprise here! We've known this for years!

    July 10, 2013 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. mr mister

    Lyn Nabors, president of the Calorie Control Council trade group, lambasted the study, saying it has "no basis in science" and "no relation to the human experience whatsoever."
    Artificial sweeteners can help people lose weight, she said. "The scientific community firmly believes that calories in, calories out is what makes a difference. The recommendation is that you reduce calories and exercise if you want to lose weight."

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

      LOL, this is from her own bio:

      "The Calorie Control Council is an international non-profit association representing the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry."

      July 11, 2013 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
  50. dron3

    Aspartame and Sucralose both give me violent reactions – so bad that I have to be hospitalized if I accidentally ingest them. I mean, c'mon, you should intuitively KNOW that these chemicals are disastrous for your body.

    I'm also surprised that more people don't know that they disallow air force pilots drinking anything with artificial sweeteners since it disrupts brain activity. That ban has been active for years. But that doesn't mean anything, right? Lol, wake up.

    July 10, 2013 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

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.