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Today In Food That's Totally Killing You: Diet Soda Is Making You Depressed. Maybe.

By / 01.10.13

Press releases from major scientific organizations are basically Mad Libs at this point. “Today, a new study from [Respected Research Institute] found that [Something You Really Like] causes [Some Horrible Disease Nobody Wants] in [Roll 2d10]% of Americans.”

Although to be fair, as a rule, the National Institutes of Health aren’t pikers, and they’ve got some bad news about diet sodas: There’s a possible link to depression.

According to the study, drinking diet makes you more likely to feel down in the dumps, and not just because the rest of us are enjoying soda with actual sugar in it:

The data comes from a large study done by The National Institutes of Health. Nearly 264-thousand adults 50 years and older participated. Consumption of a variety of drinks including soda, fruit punch, tea and coffee was tracked from 1995 to 1996.

Some 10 years later, researchers asked the participants whether they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. A total of 11,311 had been. Those who drank more than four sodas a day were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda. Four cans of fruit punch a day upped that number to 38%.

The study also found that people who drank four cups of unsweetened coffee a day were less likely to be depressed. Well, yeah, that’s because they’re too busy vibrating through walls.

It’s worth noting, unlike the people who actually put this study together, that there was no investigation of mechanism or any sort of link, and considering how thoroughly tested sweeteners like aspartame are, if they made you depressed, we would have figured it out by now.

No, it’s likely going to turn out to be a coincidence. But don’t worry: Diet soda can still make you fat.

Maybe. Aren’t inconclusive scientific studies in need of further research fun?


TAGSdiet drinksgimme a litera colaNUTRITIONscience

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