Two or More Diet Drinks Per Day Linked to Greater Risk of Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Ph.D., RD Associate Professor Division of Health Promotion & Nutrition Research Dept. of Epidemiology & Population Health Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY 10461

Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani

Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Ph.D., RD
Associate Professor
Division of Health Promotion & Nutrition Research
Dept. of Epidemiology & Population Health
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, NY 10461

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This is the largest study of the effects of artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) in older women from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study which started in 1993 and still continues to follow the women. A prior paper indicated excess risk of cardiovascular disease with high consumption of ASBs, but cardiovascular disease was a composite endpoint combining stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, revascularization and peripheral arterial disease.  Our study focusses on stroke by itself and with different subtypes of stroke. We define high consumption as two or more 12 fl oz. of diet drinks (diet soda or fruit drinks) per day and low consumption as no or less than one drink per week.

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Diet Soda and Excess Sugar During Pregnancy May Depress Child’s Cognition

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Soda” by Jannes Pockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0Juliana F. W. Cohen, ScM, ScD

Department of Health Sciences
Merrimack College
North Andover MA 01845.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sugar consumption among Americans is above recommended limits and this excess intake may have important health implications.

This study examined the associations of pregnancy and offspring sugar consumption, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages, other beverages (diet soda, juice), and fruit consumption with child cognition.

This study found that when pregnant women or their children consumed greater quantities of sugar, as well as when women consumed diet soda during pregnancy, this was associated with poorer childhood cognition.  However, children’s fruit consumption was associated with higher cognitive scores.

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Diet Soda Linked To Increased Belly Fat and Waist Size

Helen P. Hazuda, Ph.D. Professor of Medicine Division of Nephrology Department of Medicine University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio San Antonio, TXMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Helen P. Hazuda, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine
Division of Nephrology
Department of Medicine
University of Texas Health Science Center
at San Antonio San Antonio, TX

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Hazuda: The long-term effects of diet soda consumption on health outcomes is unclear, and studies in both humans and animals have raised concerns about their potentially harmful health effects including weight gain and increased cardiometabolic risk.  Most human studies have focused on middle-aged or younger adults, rather than focusing specifically on people 65 years and older, a rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population that has a disproportionately high burden of cardiometabolic disease and associated healthcare costs.  Therefore, our study examined prospectively the association between diet soda intake and long-term change in waist circumference in a biethnic cohort of older (65+ years)  Mexican American and European American participants in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA).

SALSA included a baseline examination (1992 – 1996) and three follow-up examinations (2000-2001, 2001-2003, and 2003-2004).  The total follow-up period averaged 9.4 years.  Diet soda intake, waist circumference (WC), height and weight were measured at each examination along with sociodemographic factors, leisure physical activity, diabetes mellitus, smoking, and length of follow-up.

The main finding is that over the total 9.4-year SALSA follow-up period and after adjustment for multiple potential confounders, daily diet soda users (1+ diet sodas/day) experienced an increase in  waist circumference of 3.2 inches, while occasional diet soda users (>.05 < 1 diet soda/day) experienced a  waist circumference increase of 1.8 inches, and nonusers of diet soda experienced a WC increase of 0.8 inches.  Thus, there was a striking dose-response relationship between chronic diet soda intake and long-term increases in waist circumference. Continue reading

Diet Sodas: Adverse Effects of Altered Metabolism, Weight Gain

Professor, Behavioral Neuroscience Department of Psychological Sciences and Ingestive Behavior Research Center Purdue University, 703 Third Street West Lafayette, IN 47907, USAMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Susan E. Swithers PhD
Professor, Behavioral Neuroscience
Department of Psychological Sciences and Ingestive Behavior Research Center
Purdue University, 703 Third Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Swithers: The paper examined the last 5 years of studies that looked at risks associated with consuming artificially sweetened beverages like diet soda. These studies indicated that those who consume diet soda were at significantly greater risk for a variety of negative health outcomes like type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke, along with being more likely to gain excess weight. These effects might be due to a disruption of basic learned response.  The idea is that normally things when things that taste sweet are consumed, the body receives calories and sugar. Our bodies can learn to prepare to deal with these calories and this sugar by starting up our digestive processes as soon as the sweet taste hits our mouth, for example by releasing hormones that not only help us regulate blood sugar, but also can contribute to feelings of fullness. When we consume diet sodas, the mouth gets the sweet taste, but the body doesn’t get the calories or the sugar. The body may then learn that a sweet taste in the mouth doesn’t always predict sugar and calories, so it makes adjustments in how many hormones it releases. So when we actually consume real sugar, the body doesn’t produce the same kinds of physiological responses, which can lead to overeating, higher blood sugar, and over the long term could contribute to diseases like diabetes and stroke.

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