When you order that extra value meal with a large Diet Coke or Coke Zero, you may just want to stick with a regular Coke. A new study by LiveScience, shows that diet soda is linked to an increased risk of depression. The study surveyed more than 200,000 US adults. They were asked questions about the types of beverages they consumed between 1995 and 1996. Almost a decade later, they were asked about their mental health and if they had been diagnosed with depression since 2000.
Amazingly, the study participants who regularly consumed 4 or more cans of any type of soda were 30% more likely to have been diagnosed with depression, but those who chose diet soda saw a 31% increased risk compared to just 22% for regular-soda-drinkers.
Those who drank four or more cans of diet fruit drinks were 51 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression compared to those who did not drink diet fruit drinks. By contrast, people who drank four or more cups of coffee a day were 10 percent less likely to have been diagnosed with depression compared to non-coffee drinkers. The study only found an association, and did not determine whether or not diet soda or fruit drinks caused depression. Although the researchers took into account factors that could affect the results, such as age, sex, education, smoking status, physical activity, body mass index (BMI) and energy intake, it’s possible other circumstances, such as a family history of depression or stressful life events, could explain the association.
Depression isn’t the only health issue linked to diet soda. It can also raise your risks of diabetes, as well as causes weight gain. You may want to think twice before you request a diet soda the next time you decide to have soda instead of water.