Wellness Nutrition

Diet drinks may not be better for your heart, researchers say

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Paris — Think artificially sweetened drinks are a healthier alternative to sugary beverages? If so, think again, say French researchers.

The researchers analyzed data for nearly 105,000 people who participated in France’s online NutriNet-Santé study, which involved filling out three 24-hour dietary records every six months.

Sugary drinks were defined as those containing at least 5% sugar, according to an Oct. 26 press release from the American College of Cardiology, while artificially sweetened beverages were defined as those with “non-nutritive sweeteners.”

In follow-ups conducted between 2009 and 2019, 1,379 participants had a first incidence of cardiovascular disease, defined as a suffering a stroke, mini-stroke or heart attack; experiencing acute coronary syndrome; or undergoing an angioplasty. Consumers of both types of beverages had higher risks of first incidence of cardiovascular disease than people who didn’t drink sugary or artificially sweetened beverages.

 

“Our study suggests artificially sweetened beverages may not be a healthy substitute for sugar drinks, and these data provide additional arguments to fuel the current debate on taxes, labeling and regulation of sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages,” lead researcher Eloi Chazelas, a doctoral student at Sorbonne Paris Nord University, said in the release.

The study was published online Oct. 26 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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