According to a study “Between Soft Drink Consumption and Mortality in 10 European Countries” published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, consuming just two diet drinks a day may increase chances of a heart attack or stroke. The study suggested that avoiding consumption of artificially sweetened fizzy drinks might help in reducing the risk of deaths caused due to stroke.
The researchers collected data from more than 45,000 people across 10 European countries, including those from the United Kingdom. 70% of the participants were women with an average age of just over 50 years. The participants joined the study between 1999 and 2000 and were examined for a period of 16 years. During this period, a total of 41,600 deaths were recorded. Participants were asked to answer a couple of questions about their lifestyle – including physical activity, exercise, smoking, body weight, diet and nutrition. They were also asked to report whether or not they consumed fizzy drinks and energy drinks.
The researchers also took into consideration factors such as – age, body mass index, education etc. and found that there was 17 % more chance of dying among those who consumed two glasses of soft drinks per day, as compared to those who consumed one glass per month. This trend was evaluated on consumption of both sugar-sweetened beverages and artificially sweetened drinks. “This study found that consumption of total, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened soft drinks was positively associated with all-cause deaths in this large European cohort; the results are supportive of public health campaigns aimed at limiting the consumption of soft drinks”, the study concluded.
Diet drinks refer to a category of fizzy beverages that are artificially sweetened. They are often labeled as ‘sugar-free’ and ‘calorie free’. Some other declarations of diet drinks include- help in reducing weight, improvement in physical fitness etc., despite the fact that the scientific truthfulness of these claims have been questioned time and again.