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The connection between soda and early death

Drinking two diet sodas per day can reduce your life expectancy by up to a quarter, according to a BBC report. The study came on the heels of a sugar tax introduced in 2018 in the U.K. and Ireland that was an attempt to reduce soft drink consumption.

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Researchers found that those who regularly drink sodas risk dying younger, but those who opt for the diet versions live for an even shorter period. Those who drank two diet drinks a day had a death rate that was 26% higher, and the risk of dying of heart disease was 52% higher than those who drank one a month or less.

Drinking one diet beverage a day may increase your risk of stroke and dementia by threefold compared to drinking less than one a week.

Many Americans mistakenly believe they're making a healthier choice when choosing diet soda over regular soda, but it’s simply not true.

Even after controlling other factors that could increase the risk — including smoking, lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, diabetes, heart disease and dietary factors — a study found that people who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43% more likely to have suffered a vascular event, including a stroke.

People with type 2 diabetes are often advised to consume artificial sweeteners in place of sugar but drinking diet soda at least daily has been associated with a 67% greater risk of type 2 diabetes compared with not consuming any.

Another study that included nearly 264,000 U.S. adults over the age of 50 showed that those who drank more than four cans or glasses of diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverages daily had a nearly 30% higher risk of depression compared to those who did not consume diet drinks.

People who drink diet sodas to avoid weight gain may be in for a surprise when they instead gain weight. In studies, people who drank two or more diet sodas a day experienced waist size — belly fat — increases that were six times greater than those of those who didn't drink diet soda. Aspartame (NutraSweet) tends to ignite the appetite in a bad way, causing cravings for junk food and sugary snacks.

Sodas aren’t the only culprit wreaking havoc on the health of Americans and others around the globe. Energy drinks typically contain plenty of sugar and caffeine and are known to disrupt sleep, sometimes drastically. People who sleep five or fewer hours a night are known to drink more sugar-sweetened caffeinated beverages than those who sleep longer.

What is not known is which came first: The sugary, caffeinated drinks that are keeping people awake or the lack of sleep that drives people to reach for more soda and energy drinks.

Both lack of sleep and consumption of sugar increase your risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

When it comes to beverages, clean, pure water is your best bet.

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