Diet Soda Stroke Risk? Will Health Police Let Us Drink ANYTHING?

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(CBS) Think diet soda is a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened pop? Think again. The health police are out with a new study showing that people who drink diet soda are much more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than are people who don't drink soda of any kind.

In the preliminary study, which tracked the beverage behavior of 2,564 people, people who drank diet soda every day had a whopping 61 percent higher risk of "vascular events" than people who picked other beverages to slake their thirst, according to a written statement released in conjunction with the study.

Are certain kinds or brands of diet soda safer than others? The study didn't look into that. Nor did it compare the health risks posed by diet soda with the risks posed by coffee, tea, milk, or any other popular beverages.

But given her findings - and given the fact that diet soda has no nutritional value - the study's lead author said giving up soda makes sense.

"Eliminating it from your diet isn't necessarily a bad idea," Dr. Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, tells CBS News.

Let's see. Milk has artery-clogging fat. Coffee cause insomnia. And alcohol's dangers are well known.

So what else is there left to drink?

Says Gardener, "I'm a big fan of water."

  • David W Freeman

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