‘Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis’

A recent study has found that diet soft drink intake is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Over 6,500 people aged 45 to 84 years took part in the study, which was conducted over several years.

Diet soft drink consumption was associated with a 36% greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater risk in developing type 2 diabetes. High fasting glucose (blood sugar levels) were also found to be increased by the diet soft drink consumption.

Artificially sweetened beverages such as diet soft drink have often wrongly been considered benign due to contributing no energy or nutrients to the diet. Little is known about the long term effects of artificial sweetener intake, although studies have shown sweeteners such as aspartame to have cancer causing properties in animal studies.

Diabetics and those trying to make “the healthier choice” are often drawn to diet soft drinks for their lack of sugar. This study proves that this is not a safer option, and that soft drink should be avoided to reduce the risk of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome developing.

Nettleton et al 2009, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Risk, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 688-694.