Enjoy a guilt-free Diet Coke break

You can stop referring to your Diet Coke break as a guilty pleasure, as a new study claims the fizzy drink does not cause diabetes

If the iconic mid-90’s adverts are to be believed, there are a number of benefits to a Diet Coke break. Now, however, there seems to be one more as scientists discover that artificially-sweetened beverages do not cause diabetes.

Previous research suggested sugary drinks could increase a person’s risk of developing the life threatening disease, but now researchers at Harvard University say this is not true of artificially sweetened soft drinks, coffee and tea.

‘Diet soda is perhaps not the best alternative to regular soda, but moderate consumption is not going to have any appreciable harmful effects,’ says co-author of the study, Frank Hu.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the latest study indicates the link between artificially sweetened drinks and diabetes is a result of other factors common to people who have diabetes and drink Diet Coke, including being overweight.

Dr Hu and his colleagues analysed the data from more than 40,000 men between 1986 and 2006, during which time they were questioned about their medical status and dietary habits. Seven per cent of the men were diagnosed with diabetes throughout the time period.

Men who drank most sugar-sweetened beverages were 16 per cent more likely to develop diabetes. However, once weight, cholesterol and blood pressure were taken into account, those drinks were not related to the disease.

Dr Rebecca Brown from the National Institute of Health says: ‘Certainly reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by any means is probably a good thing.’ But added that while there are still some health concerns and artificial sweeteners, none have been proven.

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