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UPDATE: A new study suggests artificial sweeteners used in ‘diet’ soft drinks are contributing to a rise in diabetes. The study goes some way to answering a question that has been on a lot of peoples’ minds: “Is Diet Coke bad for you?”
According to Israel-based researchers, non-caloric sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame and sucralose can disrupt healthy microbes that live in the gut. This may cause blood sugar levels to rise, which can lead to diabetes. “Non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight,” the authors write in the journal Nature.
We previously reported: Let’s talk straight: soft drinks aren’t great for your health.
You know that, we know that, your neighbour knows that. And yet the message seems to be falling on deaf (or more likely, stubborn) ears because Australians consume 100 litres of the fizzy stuff every year, per person.
Of course, it’s important to treat yourself sometimes – but it’s equally important to understand that the health effects of soft drinks are far more long-lasting, and potentially serious, than the temporary sugar high they deliver.
One look at news headlines from the past couple of years suggests soft drinks are fast becoming the new cigarettes. Last year, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg campaigned for a city-wide ban on soft drinks larger than 16 ounces (roughly 500mL), which was eventually knocked back. Here in Australia, the ACT government banned the sale of soft drinks in the territory’s primary schools earlier this year, and there have been numerous calls for similar crackdowns around the country.
The Glow spoke to a dentist, doctor, psychologist and dietician to find out exactly how harmful Coke and co. are for you.