Recent claims unfounded linking diet soda to health problems

By: Keri Peterson, MD —

December 12, 2017 — Numerous studies have proven and authorities have confirmed that low-calorie sweeteners are safe and do not contribute to health ailments.  While media reports have suggested possible links between diet soda consumption and stroke, dementia, weight gain and tooth decay, such claims are false.

No impact on sweet taste. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, low-calorie sweeteners like aspartame have no impact on satiety and do not increase desire for sweets. Read more here.

Proven safe. Numerous studies have proven that low-calorie sweeteners used in diet sodas are some of the safest and most thoroughly studied ingredients in the food supply. The safety of low-calorie sweeteners has been reaffirmed time and time again by leading regulatory and governmental agencies around the world including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Read more about this study here.

No negative impact on type 2 diabetes or stroke. A study by the Journal of Nutrition found that diet soda drinkers are not more prone to type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Association states, “Also, when used to replace food and drinks with added sugars, it can help people with diabetes manage blood glucose levels.” Read more here in the Council’s review of recent research.

Helpful in weight loss. Organizations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics support the benefit of reduced-calorie products. Low- and no-calorie foods and beverages are a proven tool in helping manage weight. Several studies have shown that changes in behavior and diet, including regular intake of diet sodas, result in successful weight loss and maintenance of that loss. Read more about this study here.

Does not contribute to tooth decay. Lastly, according to the American Dental Association, sugar substitutes such as aspartame do not contribute to tooth decay like sugars. Sugar substitutes are not readily converted to acids by bacteria in the mouth, which is what causes tooth decay. Read more about this study here.

About Dr. Peterson
Internal Medicine

Keri Peterson MDKeri Peterson, MD is a medical contributor and columnist for Women’s Health and a frequent guest on NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America, Fox News and CNN. Based in New York City, Dr. Peterson has been in private practice since 1999 and holds appointments at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center.   With a BA from Cornell University and a Medical Degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she completed post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center and is board certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Peterson is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association, and serves as a medical advisor for the Calorie Control Council.

faq2Do you have questions about low-calorie sweeteners? Want to learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle? You asked and we listened. Our resident Registered Dietitians answered the most popular questions about low-calorie sweeteners.