WHO: Just two glasses of diet drinks per day may increase risk of premature death

10:46   5 September, 2019

In a large study conducted by the World Health Organization, it turned out that soda, including diet, increases the risk of early death.

A study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of WHO) involved over 450,000 adults. Most of them –70% are women from 10 European countries, including from the UK. It lasted eight  years - from 1992 to 2000, while all participants in the experiment did not suffer from serious diseases like cancer, diabetes or problems with the cardiovascular system.

Scientists analyzed the data received from participants and concluded that daily consumption of carbonated drinks of all varieties increases the risk of early death. Fans of drinks containing not sugar at all, as one might think, but artificial sweeteners are at maximum risk.

At the very beginning of the study, scientists conducted a questionnaire in which they found out the level of their physical activity, dietary features, the presence or absence of bad habits, including information about what they drink during the day.

According to them, 9.3% of those who drank less than 1 cup of soda per month died, while 11.5% dies of those who drank two or more glasses a day.

Experts concluded that, taking into account factors such as body mass index, physical activity, smoking, the risk of premature death among those who drink two glasses of soda per day, is 17% higher than among those who do not have such a habit. Similar results are true for both men and women.

Diet soda lovers were more likely to suffer from circulatory problems than those who drank just sugary drinks. At the same time, both those and others have an increased risk of not only death, but also the development of Parkinson's disease.

Scientists from the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer said it would be “wise” to exclude all diet drinks and drink only water instead.

According to the study leader Dr. Neul Murphy, additional studies are currently needed to study the long-term health effects of specific artificial sweeteners commonly found in soft drinks such as aspartame and potassium acesulfame.

Despite the recommendations of doctors and healthcare organizations to limit consumption, sales of sweetened drinks around the world are growing, especially in low- and middle-income countries as a result of intensive marketing.

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