Stroke in a can? Study warns of diet drinks’ health risks for women 50 and older – USA TODAY

Stroke in a can? Study warns of diet drinks’ health risks for women 50 and older – USA TODAY

Healthy food
CLOSE A recent study warns of the health risks with diet drinks for women aged 50 and above. USA TODAY For women trying to keep a healthy weight after menopause, the American Heart Association has a simple message: Choose water over diet drinks. A study published Thursday in Stroke, a journal of the AHA, reveals women age 50 and older who consume more than one artificially sweetened drink a day are significantly more likely to have a stroke, a heart attack and an early death. Even women with no history of heart disease or diabetes are considerably more vulnerable to increased health risks if they drink multiple diet beverages a day. The results of the study, which examined data on 81, 714 women ages 50-79, tracked for an average of 11.9 years beginning in the mid-to-late ’90s, may come as a blow to those trying to fend off weight gain by eschewing regular sodas in favor of low-calorie alternatives. “Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet, ’’ said Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, the study’s lead author. “Our ....

One major question left unanswered by the latest study is exactly what ingredient in diet drinks has the adverse health effects. “We don’t know specifically what types of artificially sweetened beverages they were consuming, ’’ Mossavar-Rahmani said of the women in the study, “so we don’t know which artificial sweeteners may be harmful and which may be harmless.” More: What is the Whole30 diet all about, and why are so many people into it lately? More: Delta Air Lines apologizes for 'creepy' Diet Coke napkins, is removing them from flights The American Beverage Association, which represents the soft-drink industry, did not take issue with the study’s methodology but pointed out that regulatory bodies like the Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Agency consider artificial sweeteners safe. “In January,  the World Health Organization released a major study that reaffirmed the safety and efficacy of these sweeteners as a way to reduce sugar in foods and beverages, ’’ the ABA said in a statement. “We support the WHO’s call for people to reduce sugar in their diets and we are doing our part by creating innovative beverages with less sugar or zero sugar, clear calorie labeling, responsible marketing practices and ....

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