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.
“Diet soda is perhaps not the best alternative, but moderate consumption is not going to have appreciable harmful effects,” says one of the study’s authors, Dr. Frank Hu.
Earlier studies have suggested that people who drink diet soda on a regular basis could be more likely to get diabetes than those who stay away from artificially-sweetened drinks. However, with the results of the new study, it may simply be that many of the people who are drinking diet drinks are already obese or diabetic.
“People who are at risk for diabetes or obesity… those may be the people who are more likely to choose artificial sweeteners because they may be more likely to be dieting,” said Dr. Rebecca Brown, an endocrinologist at the National Institutes of Health.