In researchers’ continuing mission to ruin everything fun, a new expansive study shows that sodas — even diet ones — could be deadly.
And it’s not like the study was quick and dirty. Published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers looked at more than 450,000 people in 10 European countries over a 19-year period.
Subjects who drank two or more glasses (8 ounces) of any kind of soft drink each day were at a higher risk of dying — from any cause — than those who drank one or less.
Those who drank diet soda (artificially sweetened soft drinks) were positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases, while regular soda drinkers were linked to deaths from digestive diseases (like diseases of the liver, pancreas, appendix and intestines).
All soda drinkers were linked to an increased risk for Parkinson’s disease.
“Sugar is not good for us in large amounts,” registered dietitian Liz Weinandy tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We know that’s pretty clear-cut. It increases inflammation in the body and that leads to a whole host of health conditions. But these sugar substitutes are not risk-free. More and more evidence appears to show that they also have a negative influence on our health.”
The countries included in the study were the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.
“Regardless of whether you’re using artificial sweeteners or regular sugar, it appears that there are negative health consequences with either one,” says Weinandy, who works for Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
Weinandy suggests rather than going cold turkey with soda, cut back to just one a day for a while.
“If you get down to one a day, you may lose your taste for it,” she says. “Our taste buds get adjusted either way. This is going to be a little hard, but things will adjust and it will get a lot better.”