A new study claiming diet soda is linked to conditions like stoke and dementia is getting a lot of attention in the news media, but before you believe the sensationalized headlines it’s important to understand what the study really found as well as the facts about low-calorie sweeteners.
Let’s start with the facts about low-calorie sweeteners. Low-calorie sweeteners have been vigorously studied and have repeatedly been deemed safe by government safety authorities like the World Health Organization, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority. Hundreds of studies have confirmed that these ingredients, which are found in thousands of food and beverages, are a safe alternative for people who are trying to manage their weight without sacrificing taste.
Now onto the study. What does it prove? Absolutely nothing. The study provides no new information to counter the well-established fact that low-calorie sweeteners are perfectly safe. In fact, the authors even acknowledge they have broken no new ground and a press release unveiling the study says it “was not designed or able to prove cause and effect, and only shows a trend among one group of people.”
We decided to dig a bit deeper and see what government authorities that study stroke and dementia have to say about the causes of these diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), some of the known risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing stroke and dementia are age, hypertension, diabetes and genetics. NIH does not mention zero-calorie sweeteners as a risk factor.
So why all of the media buzz? As we have discussed many times before here at Sip & Savor, sensationalized headlines catch people’s attention and that means more clicks. The important thing to remember not only with this study but with most scientific reporting is that the devil is in the details.
So regardless of what the headlines say, rest assured you can still enjoy your favorite diet drink safely and without worry.