WTF is Diet Coke Doing to Us?

January 16, 2013 4:15 PM

Diet Coke Ad

It's sad when you can't have the things you love. And I love Diet Coke. As a non-smoker who doesn't drink coffee, it's my break time pick-me-up and sweet treat. I've heard all the stories – about how Diet Coke is used to clean up blood at crime scenes and how aspartame can cause alzheimer's. And it definitely looks and sounds the opposite of natural. But we all have our vices and they're easier to indulge when they have no calories.

The Alzheimer's Association and FDA say (so far) that aspartame actually does not cause alzheimer's. But that doesn't mean we've got the green light…

A new study of more than 260,000 adults by the University of Rochester Medical Center found that drinking soda is linked to depression, especially in drinkers of diet soda. When we found that story via Refinery29.com it took us down a rabbit hole where the negative effects of drinking diet soda just kept piling up: lower bone density, heart disease, tooth decay (because of the acidity), slowed metabolism, kidney problems and more. Check out MSN.com's 7 Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda.

None of the studies that identify the harmful effects of drinking diet soda are 100% conclusive, but as Sharon Fowler, MPH, who led a San Antonio study that linked drinking diet soda with increased weight gain, said, “I am concerned that we are in the middle of a giant experiment and we don’t know the outcome.”

In 1964 when Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first major report concluding that smoking cigarettes is a direct cause of lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema nearly 50% of Americans ignorantly/blissfully smoked.  We can't help but wonder if similar revelations won't break for diet soda. So, before the working woman's drink (it's been marketed at us from the beginning – think back to the “Diet Coke Break” ad and the recent “What to drink on your way to the top” slogan) becomes the working woman's worst habit, better start hitting the water cooler harder and ditching the DC.

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