A recent study from the University of Miami presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference found that people who regularly drink diet soda are at a much higher risk of stroke. The study analyzed over 2,500 people and found that those who drank diet soda daily were at a 61 percent higher risk of stroke than those who do not drink soda.
Although the study said it adjusted the data to account for smoking, physical activity and alcohol consumption, the survey is already facing much criticism from nutrition and health experts.
Critics say that the questionnaire-based study did not include enough people who drank diet soda daily, and only asked about behavior at the beginning of a 10-year period, but assumed that the participant’s soda consumption did not change over time. The study has also been criticized for not gathering more data about the participant’s eating habits, which is a confounding factor.
“Unfortunately, it may be that individuals with poor dietary habits do resort in some kind of calorie balancing and continue to eat high-calorie sweet foods but reduce their guilt by drinking diet soda,” said Dr. Howard Weintraub, the clinical director of the New York University Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease.
Drinking both regular and diet soda has previously been linked to diabetes and related pre-diabetic symptoms, however the University of Miami researchers did not turn up this connection. The research was only presented as an extract and has not been peer-reviewed. Although the study is capturing headlines, it is still a work-in-progress. “I think we need confirmation in other, larger data sets,” said senior author Dr. Ralph Sacco. “We find this intriguing but it requires follow-up.”
Via ABC News.
February 14th, 2011