Artificially Sweetened Drinks Can Lead to an Early Grave

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • In a recent study analyzing data from 451,743 people from 10 countries over 20 years, researchers found that those who drank artificially sweetened drinks suffered a higher all-cause mortality — specifically from circulatory disease — while those drinking sugar sweetened drinks had a higher risk of death from digestive disease
  • These associations remained constant, even when the researchers removed confounding factors such as higher body mass index, smoking and other mortality risks
  • One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners is aspartame,  which is associated with increased risk of obesity,as it appears to encourage sugar cravings and does not activate the brain’s reward pathway in the same way natural sweeteners do. Research also links aspartame with neurobehavioral symptoms such as insomnia, depression, headaches and seizures
  • Alterations in gut bacteria by artificial sweeteners may contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance. The American Beverage Association is pushing back as the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association call for federal and state policy changes to protect children and adolescents from marketing targeted at them

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