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Regular consumption of soda, diet or not, has been associated with a greater risk of death.

According to the Washington Post, regardless of whether a soda has been sweetened with sugar or artificial sweetener, daily consumption of soft drinks has been associated with a greater risk of all causes of death.

A study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine has found that people who drink two or more glasses of soda a day have a higher risk of mortality than those who consume less than one glass per month. The study tracked 451,743 men and women with a mean age of 50.8 from 10 European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. 

Sugar-sweetened beverages were linked to death due to digestive diseases, such as diseases of the liver, appendix, pancreas, and intestines, while artificially sweetened drinks were associated with death from circulatory diseases.

Sarah Reinhardt, lead food systems and health analyst for the Union of Concern Scientists, stated, “The results of this study are significant… It reinforces a fact that won’t surprise anyone in the nutrition field: Processed foods loaded with artificial ingredients will never be the magic bullet to better health, no matter how low they are in sugar. Our bodies are smarter than that.”

Cities in the United States have taken action against harmful soft drinks, such as imposing soda taxes, yet efforts have met widespread resistance from the soda lobby. Thankfully, recent studies have shown that consumers are drinking less soft drinks, and making more healthy choices.

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