Do you sip on diet soda in an attempt to cut calories? While these beverages may not be as bad for your waistline, they could be doing harm to your mental health, say researchers.
A U.S. study of more than 250,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71 for 10 years found consumption of sweetened beverages (especially diet drinks) to be associated with an increased risk of depression. In the study, participants who drank four cans or cups of soda per day were 30 percent more likely to develop depression. Participants who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were 38 percent more likely to develop depression. According to researchers, the risk is greatest for those who drink diet soda or diet juice beverages.
"Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk," study author Dr. Honglei Chen said in a press release.
But other experts are questioning the link this study has draw, reports BBC News. "Sweeteners have been very widely tested and reviewed for safety and the ones on the market have an excellent safety track record, Gaynor Bussell, of the British Dietetic Association told BBC News. She also said the study has merely suggested a "link ‘ not a cause and effect ‘ with depression.”
Do you drink diet soda? Are you worried about the possible link to depression?