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Drinking diet soda contributes to risk of early death, new research reveals

Diet Soda health
(Image credit: Future)

Diet sodas drinkers, look away now: your beverage of choice is still putting you at risk of a premature death, just like sugary soft drinks.

That's according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that just two diet soft drinks a day contributed to early deaths from circulatory diseases 

Sugary sodas are still the worst culprits, however, with just a single drink a day actively increasing the risk of digestive diseases of the liver, appendix, pancreas and intestines.

But whatever the specifics, the findings may come as a shock to those who thought they could drink can after can of diet soda with little to worry about other than the state of their teeth.

Why the study matters

The study is particularly important for two reasons.

The first is its scope. One of the most comprehensive undertakings of its kind, it featured over 450,000 participants drawn from across 10 European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Those involved had their food and drink consumption surveyed between 1992 and 2000. The mean age of participants was 50.8 and  71.1% of those involved were female.

Moreover, the researchers established a clear link between high levels of soda consumption and a more broad unhealthy lifestyle, pointing out that those who drank lots of soft drinks – diet or otherwise – were also more likely to have issues with obesity and smoking.

“In our study, high soft drinks consumers had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were also more likely to be current tobacco smokers,” said Neil Murphy of the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the study’s chief researcher, 

He added: “We made statistical adjustments in our analyses for BMI, smoking habits and other mortality risk factors which may have biased our results, and the positive associations remained.”

In other words, it might be time to restock your mini fridge with some soda alternatives. One good option might be to invest in one of the best water filters in our list, so you can make tasty and healthy flavored waters at home, rather than relying on store-bought ones.

A technology journalist with nearly 10 years of experience, James is the former News and Features Editor at Trusted Reviews, and has also served as regional Editor of Lifehacker. His articles have been spotted on sites ranging from The Sun to InStyle, but his true love is shiny things and the story behind them. An avid golfer in his spare time, you'll also regularly catch him hovering over the BBQ listening to Pearl Jam.