10 Facts: Why Diet Drinks Are Killing You

By Amy Taylor on November 09, 2012

Thinking that they are getting all the taste and sweetness of traditional soda drinks without gaining calories, many dieters have one or two cans of diet fizzy drinks tucked in their bags.  Although the name might sound cool, tasty and fat-free, they are still loaded with additives, artificial sweeteners and other chemical compounds that may not be good for your health, even for your waist!  So if you’re a big fan of fizzy diet drinks, you may want to know how it can potentially damage your health.

The following are the top health risks associated with diet sodas:

1.  Kidney Failure

The more fizzy drinks you consume, the greater the damage on your kidneys shall be. In an 11-year study by the Harvard Medical School, it was found that consumption of diet cola increased the risk of kidney failure by 200%. What’s more surprising is that kidney problems were not linked to sugar-sweetened sodas. The researchers believe that the artificial sweeteners used in diet colas are the culprit.

2.  Cell Damage

Diet fizzy drinks have more unhealthy ingredients than regular counterparts. They contain mould inhibitors, which, according to experts, have the ability to destroy healthy cells. Such toxic compounds were also found to cause asthma, hives and other allergic conditions.

3.  Obesity

Oh no! Aren’t you are drinking diet drinks to avoid gaining weight? It seems that manufacturers are making us believe that we are not going to gain extra pounds even if we consume can after can of fizzy diet drinks. But scientific research proves that it doesn’t help prevent obesity. In fact, it can increase your waistline! A study by the University of Texas Health Science Centre showed shocking results of drinking diet sodas. Researchers found that 2 or more cans a day of diet fizzy drinks increased the participants’ waistlines by 500%. Meanwhile, a study by the Purdue University shows that artificial sweeteners are capable of disrupting the body’s natural ability to regulate calories (the body thinks it’s absorbing sugar so it craves for more). Because of this, people who consumed diet foods are more likely to overeat.

4.  Tooth Decay

Even if you invest a lot on expensive dental treatments, your teeth are still at risk from rotting if you regularly drink soda, whether it’s diet or not, experts suggest. Soda drinks have high acidity level (pH of 3.2) which is strong enough to damage your enamel – the protective layer on the teeth. In their analysis of dental check-up data, researchers from the University of Michigan found that soda drinkers had more missing teeth, decay problems, and more fillings than those who rarely consumed soda.

5.  Reproductive Health Problems

Planning to have a baby? You may want to cut your soda intake. Fizzy drink cans are coated with endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) – a compound which has been linked to problems with reproductive health. It was also shown to increase the risk of obesity and heart disease.

6.  Metabolic Syndrome

In a study involving nearly 10,000 adults, University of Minnesota researchers found that even just one can of any diet fizzy drink a day can already increase a person’s risk of metabolic syndrome by 34%. This condition is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

7.  Hangover

According to the study by the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, cocktails with diet soda can get you drunk easily. It’s because sugar-free mixers enter the bloodstream much quicker than those that contain sugar.

8.  Bone Loss

Both regular and diet fizzy drinks contain phosphoric acid (a weak acid that gives cola drinks their tangy flavour and extended shelf life). This compound causes the calcium to be excreted from your bloodstream much quicker through urine. Because of this, your body becomes deficient in calcium – a nutrient crucial for healthy, stronger bones.

9.  Accelerated Ageing

Aside from bone loss, high amounts of phosphoric acid also speed up the ageing process. A study published in the FASEB Journal found that rats that have high phosphoric acid levels died five weeks earlier than those that had normal levels.

10.  Cancer

Just last year, health experts petitioned the Food and Drug Administration in the US to ban the use of artificial caramel colouring in the processing of Pepsi, Coke and other brown colas. The move came after scientists revealed that the artificial colouring agent used in these beverages contains 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole which have been shown to cause cancer in animals.


Did you know Diet Drinks were so harmful? Would you now consider exchanging them for something healthier?


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