Hands off my diet soda!!

I am so tired of all the people telling me all that diet soda (primarily the incomparable Diet Dr Pepper) is bad for me.  I swear, people want it to be bad for you.  Chemicals!!  Anyway, the latest research on artificial sweeteners:

Artificial sweeteners offer no health benefits, a large review of studies found. But it found no proof that they do any harm, either. [emphasis mine]

Researchers looked at 35 observational studies and 21 controlled trials of nonsugar sweeteners in children and adults. Some compared intake of sweeteners with no intake; others compared lower with higher intakes.

They found no convincing evidence that nonsugar sweeteners had any effect in adults on eating behavior, cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, mood, behavior or cognition. The study, in BMJ, did find a slight benefit in promoting weight loss and improving fasting blood glucose levels, but only in small studies and over short periods of time.

Eight studies in children showed similar results. Some studies found weak evidence that children who used artificial sweeteners had larger increases in blood glucose levels than those who used sugar.

The lead author, Dr. Joerg J. Meerpohl, of the University of Freiburg, said that “the goal of the work was to summarize the evidence, not to make practical recommendations,” and although they found no evidence of harm, they could not exclude the possibility, either.

In any case, he said, “There’s no need to have them in your food. There are cheaper and widely available alternatives to artificially sweetened foods. You can always have water instead of Diet Coke.”

I’m not sitting here pretending artificial sweeteners are good for you, but enough with people motivated reasoning themselves into the belief that they just have to be bad for you.  And, hey, maybe someday evidence will change on that (though this BMJ study looks pretty thorough), and I’ll be open to that.  But for now, drink your water and leave me and my Diet Dr Pepper alone.

On a quasi-related note, I love and am not at all surprised by this finding that those who know the least about GMO foods are the very ones who believe they are bad for you:

As the degree of opposition to the foods increased, knowledge about them decreased. The scientists also found that people who knew the least tended to think they knew the most.

So, yeah, I’ll stick with my diet soda with GMO food.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to Hands off my diet soda!!

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    Hurray for Diet Pepsi!! No fructose!

  2. I agree with you, right down to loving Diet Dr. Pepper. Life is fatal, and if one obsesses over all those bad things, the stress is fatal, too.

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