You might think you’re making a healthy choice when you drink diet soda instead of regular soda, but that’s not the case at all. According to a recent study, those who drink diet soda regularly are putting themselves at risk for a stroke.
Researchers from Columbia University and the University of Miami presented their findings at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles last week. A northern manhattan study that enrolled 2,564 people from 1993 to 2001 required participants to fill out information about their diet, and their health was then tracked over several years.
Many people are concerned with drinking regular soda, so they often turn to diet soda. Regular soda is high in sugar and has been tied to diabetes and other weight-related problems. Researchers haven’t discovered a chemical explanation as to why diet soda isn’t a healthy option, but they recommend drinking water instead.
However, researchers from the University of Miami found that people who drink diet soda every day are 48% more likely to suffer a stroke over a nine-year span, compared with people who don’t drink any soda. Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine said in a statement that diet soda is not a good alternative.
If our results are confirmed with future studies, then it would suggest that diet soda may not be the optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages for protection against vascular outcomes.
The study shows that 35% of the respondents didn’t drink soda at all, and 24% said they drank diet soda. There was a total of 116 total participants that drank diet soda every day. Towards the end of the study, 559 participants had suffered some type of vascular event, including 221 strokes, 149 heart attacks and 338 total deaths.
This research proves that diet soda will affect people long-term. We’ll have to wait and see if scientists can determine the chemical effect diet soda has on the human body.