This guest post comes from Gale Tern, author, alternative health proponent, and blogger at Arthritis Pain Central.
According to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet, approximately 8% of the U.S. population, or 26 million people, have diabetes. And 79 million people are prediabetic (blood sugar levels higher than normal). As you can see there are a lot of people who suffer from this disease or are at risk of developing it.
While most of us refer to diabetes as the sugar disease, diabetes mellitus (it’s technical name) is actually a group of diseases where blood sugar levels are elevated. They are elevated either because the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or because the body does not respond to insulin which is produced by the body. Elevated blood sugar levels produce the classic symptoms of diabetes- increased thirst, frequent urination, and increased hunger.
Type 1 diabetes refers to insulin-dependent diabetes where the body does not produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes, or insulin resistant diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. In this type of diabetes the body fails to properly use insulin.
Another victory for proponents of moderation: A recent Harvard study has countered the assertion that diet soda and other artificially sweetened drinks can heighten one’s risk for developing diabetes.
I say a victory for moderation proponents because this means that most people should be able to have a modest amount of diet soda if they please. As is the case in most instances, food should not be demonized or considered “the bad guy.” Our problems with food generally come from within, either with unexamined psychological issues or just not managing one’s time well enough to organize a healthy plan of attack.
Now back to our study…
A large group of men were examined for 20 years. While those who drank regular soda or other sugary drinks were more likely to develop diabetes, the people who drank artificially-sweetened soft drinks, coffee or tea did not show a propensity for becoming diabetic. (more…)
Diet sodas have long been thought to be a “girls'” drink – after all, more than half of all diet sodas consumed are done so by women, thanks in large part to advertising that is heavily female focused. Dr. Pepper is trying to change that with a brand new marketing scheme. “Dr. Pepper 10” is a new soda, sold in 12 ounce bottles, geared towards the male market.
The soda isn’t calorie free, but advertises itself as having 10 bold calories. The commercial for the beverage is as masculine as they come, with a scene straight out of Rambo. The masculine commercial features a vehicle chase, heavy artillery, and the closing words, “It’s not for women”.
If you’re someone who indulges in the regular, or even occasional, soda or sugary fruit drink you’ll want to read this. While soda has already been linked to bone loss and is incredibly high in sugar, new research suggests that sugary drinks may also be associated with higher blood pressure levels in adults.
According to research in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, scientists found that for every extra sugar-sweetened beverage consumed in a day, study participants on average had significantly higher systolic blood pressure by 1.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure by 0.8 mm Hg. This rise in blood pressure remained statistically significant even after adjusting for differences in body mass, researchers said. They also found that those drinking more than one serving per day consumed more calories than those who didn’t — an average of more than 397 calories per day.
Diet Pepsi has introduced a new “skinny” can in accordance with New York Fashion Week. The diet soda can is a tall, sleek version of itself that PepsiCo said was “made in celebration of beautiful, confident women.” While the can might look appealing on store shelves, critics wonder if the new approach will perpetuate harmful stereotypes against women and body image.
PepsiCo, a Fashion Week sponsor, is hosting a series of events to launch the new can, including collaborations with popular designers such as Charlotte Ronson and Betsey Johnson.
“Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks, and we’re excited to throw its coming-out party during the biggest celebration of innovative design in the world,” Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo said in a statement.
Just because a product says “diet” on the label doesn’t mean that it is healthy. So, when you switch from full-sugar soda to diet, it’s not necessarily getting you off scot-free. You may actually be risking stroke or a heart attack.
A study just published followed over 2,500 New Yorkers for about 10 years. They found that some diet soda drinkers had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events, such as stroke and heart attack.
Now, let’s talk you off the ledge.
First, this study’s findings were for those who drank soda every day. I know that a lot of people drink diet soda on a daily basis, so maybe that’s not enough to alleviate your worries. I would say that it should be easy enough to moderate your soda intake to a few days a week, but even with these finding, the researchers aren’t prepared to put out a hard stance against drinking diet soda on a regular basis.
“I think diet soda drinkers need to stay tuned,” says the study’s lead author Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “I don’t think that anyone should be changing their behaviors based on one study. Hopefully this will motivate other researchers to do more studies.” (more…)
Diet Pepsi is promoting the idea of “slimness” associated with their product with a new packaging ploy. The tall, thin can was launched during New York City’s Fashion Week, no doubt intended to suggest the kind of body one might have by switching to diet soda. The company says the new look is made to celebrate confident, beautiful women.
“Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks, and we’re excited to throw its coming-out party during the biggest celebration of innovative design in the world,” Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo, said in a statement. The stouter style of Pepsi can will continue to be available.
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.
For many people, drinking the occasional diet soda is perfectly acceptable and harmless. But, there is a mindset that since it’s “diet” and “zero calories,” you can drink as much as you want with no repercussions. Not only is this untrue, you may be provoking a physical response that is completely the opposite of your intentions.
Past studies have shown that people who drink excessive amounts of diet soft drinks not only don’t lose weight, they actually gain weight. It may also be associated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
In 2005, there was an eight-year study out of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio on the effects of diet soda on weight. The study showed a 41 percent increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day. (more…)
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