Death by Diet Soda?

A new study that links artificially sweetened beverages to premature death is prompting public angst. Some scientists say it has significant flaws.

Comments: 90

  1. Via trial and error, I determined that my premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) were caused by diet soda. I went from having in the low thousands per day to less than 5 within 3 weeks of quitting sodas. Anything processed will kill you. It explains why obesity has skyrocketed since the 50's and many other phenomena. Doctors defending diet soda should reveal from where they get their research money. All of it.

  2. @Mtnman1963 I'll drink to that!

  3. @Mtnman1963 You're kidding, of course. Before the 50s, people cooked with lard and deep-fried everything. And nearly everybody died at 64 years of age. That's why Social Security benefits start at 65.

  4. @Mtnman1963 Actually, Obesity hasn' t soared since the 1950's, it has soared since the mid 1970s. In the mid 70's the obesity rate was 15%, today it is 40% and climbing. This can be directly correlated to the explosion of packaged foods and cheap fast foods and the use of high fructose corn syrup and soy oil, both of which heavily subsidized by the government. I agree totally about doctors defending diet soda, I would check who is funding their research, nutrititionists and the like who defend it often do work for the sugar and soda companies.

  5. Everything we eat, drink, breathe and touch has an impact on our health. Who does these studies and who funds them? Those are important issues to consider when reading about the latest health crisis. Bring on the triple Whopper, supersized French fries, milkshake and course a 64 ounce diet soda! God Bless America.

  6. After years of drinking diet soda daily, I got cancer and quit cold turkey. To my amazement, I never had a craving for the stuff a single time: there was no withdrawal. After months away from it, I tried a diet coke out of curiosity and was attacked by a mouthful of chemicals that exploded in my throat. It tasted like something brewed in a lab: not food. My taste buds had recovered enough to confront reality.

  7. Reports on individual experiences can hardly qualify as even remotely scientific. There are obviously multiple issues involved. For the record, I have been drinking Coke Zero ever since it came out and have reached age 88 with no obvious health problems. This proves nothing.

  8. You’re right that individual cases prove nothing, but this study involved 451,743 individuals. There are people who lived to be 100 who smoked every day, but that doesn’t mean cigarettes are safe.

  9. @David Yeah and one guy ate Big Macs for every meal. His cholesterol is low and he's otherwise healthy, but we know it isn't good for you.

  10. @David Yeah, and grandpa dave smoked 2 packs of camels a day and lived to be 93, so cigarettes aren't bad for you....

  11. I'm old enough to remember scary food announcements that were later found to be based on faulty or plain dumb research. Caffeine in coffee would cause heart attacks,, saccharine fed to rats caused cancer-people would have to drink 60 cans of soda a day to be comparable, butter because of fat-eat margarine instead which is a mixture of all kinds chemicals, , eggs because of cholesterol. Now circling back to diet soda. The more things change the more they stay the same.

  12. @rlmullaney. The coffee one is my favorite. I was in the hospital with a heart episode when the nurse slapped a cup of coffee out of my hand. My doctor told her it was OK. Now they know that black coffee lowers blood pressure, is good for heart health, and can be instrumental in preventing Alzheimer's. 15 years ago after a heart attack they would have the patient not move for ten days. Now, after ten minutes they make him or her walk or run around their room.

  13. @rlmullaney "Science" has long ago sacrificed it's credibility on food -- and the endlessly conflicting sermons media-dubbed "experts" issue with annoying regularity. If the media weren't so focused on shock headlines (celery causes cancer!), they'd get their facts straight before spewing this nonsense.

  14. @rlmullaney Caffeine can cause an attack. Many people aren't used to vasodilation effects.

  15. I am curious what do people expect, soft drinks are basically acids that is strong enough to decay bones if drank too much. I read somewhere the original intention of soda was to help with diarrhea and digestion with the carbonation. So unless I am having ether of those issues, I try to limit to no more than one can of soda a week.

  16. The stuff is vile and tastes fake. I don’t understand why people would want to drink chemicals. I also don’t understand why people would want to drink sugar water. Now coffee....that’s another story altogether.

  17. @Downspout And I find coffee to be vile. The smell of coffee actually makes me ill. When I was still working, and had to attend meetings, I often had to ask the person sitting next to me, who had a cup of coffee too close, to move it to the other side. Otherwise, I would have had to leave the table to vomit. Coffee's good to you? I don't drink either it or tea. I have one cup of diet soda daily, then I drink 64 oz of water daily. That's it. Don't drink alcohol, either. That's also vile, IMHO.

  18. @Downspout So you believe that coffee is untouched by chemicals? Think again.

  19. Sugar and sugar substitutes are habitually poisonous and absolutely everywhere. No surprise we are all sick.

  20. When I was teaching Junior High, one day a student saw me drinking my usual half-litre of diet Pepsi and commented, "Mr Dog, my auntie works in the factory where they make that, and the plant manager told the workers that they could drink as much as they wanted, but that he recommended they shouldn't." I asked why. "For health reasons. Memory problems." And my student tapped her head to emphasise. The next day, I thought I'd test myself, not thinking there'd be any side effects of Diet Pepsi. So, I stopped, and drank only water. I found myself almost unable to get out of bed, and deeply fatigued. Caffeine withdrawal: I'd been drinking a litre a day. I also lost over six pounds in weight, and I am not a heavy person. How was that possible? I concluded it must have been fluid loss. After a week I reversed the experiment and drank a half litre bottle of diet coke in the morning. A raging thirst consumed me, but I could not slake it by drinking water, it was as if every cell in my body was parched. That evening I discovered I had gained five pounds in weight. I haven't drunk sodas since then. If you doubt my experiment, I urge you to try it for yourself.

  21. @Laughingdog This could’ve been the sodium in the soda. Glad you discovered how much better you feel without it.

  22. Did the European study adjust for diabetics? Conventional wisdom for decades has been that diabetics should use artificial sweeteners as it is better than sugar. Were lots of diabetics involved in the study who were choosing perhaps a less harmful choice by choosing diet soda? A significant percentage of diabetics, who have poor health outcomes regardless of their choice of drinks, would affect the study.

  23. @WTS I immigrated from Europe in late 80’s and did not know any diabetics until I came to the US. Perhaps not drinking sugary junk has worked out in some parts of the world.

  24. @wts My nurse-educator told us, a class of 20+ diabetics, to try to break our sweet tooth and stop adding sweeteners of any kind to our food and drink. Artificial sweeteners may be better than sugar, but no sweeteners are better for our long-term health.

  25. I've been drinking iced anise hyssop tea, sometimes with a few hibiscus flowers tossed in, all summer that I make with the fresh plant from the Farmers Market. No sugar, no artificial sweeteners, it's delicious and aids in respiratory health.

  26. @Robert Yeah that sounds great, except most people actually have, you know, jobs and families, and don't have tons of time on their hands to make herbal concoctions. Get real...

  27. It's axiomatic and obvious: aspartame and sucralose were developed in a lab very recently with the intent that they be sweet and have few or no calories. Is it even imaginable that they would promote human health? Why would anyone risk their health by drinking such a thing? The people in The Blue Zones live inordinately long lives -- just mimic their diets. Oh, and the fact that the FDA (an agency captured by lobbyists from the processed food industry; dairy and cattle industries) says that it appears safe?? If that reassures you, then go climb on a Boeing 737 Max -- the FAA said it was totally safe even after dozens of other countries grounded it.

  28. @Triffid “The people in the Blue Zones live inordinately long lives...” Please don’t use politically charged words like that and paint whole populations with a broad brush. People everywhere and yes, even in blue zones, have had weight gains and morbid obesity in the past 40 years. I cannot recall people as morbidly obese as they are now back in the 70’s and at such an early age, due to heavily processed food consumption. Even in my home state of PA. Obesity is everywhere today in the US unfortunately. Not excusing it either. People seem to have a lack of self control anymore.

  29. @SW I think your comment was in earnest and not a joke. The Blue Zones that Triffid refers to are regions in the world where people have higher life expectancies because of their diet and healthy lifestyles: Okinawa, Japan and Sardinia, Italy being a few examples where the local population live much longer than average. It has nothing do with politics.

  30. A chemical stew cooked up in factory vats that decreases the value of the fresh water it's added to, may actually be unhealthy for humans to consume? Huh, you learn something new everyday. Next I'm going to put my hand on a lit stove to finally solve the mystery of what will happen. I'll report back soon.

  31. Which does more harm...vaping or white sugar?

  32. The medical/scientific community suffers from the same problem as the Catholic Church. They are looked as God like who are infallible and must be adored and obeyed at every command. That is why both are so abused. Yes medical breakthroughs have giving us many cures and helped many people and prolonged life spans but has also given us countless useless studies, tests, procedures etc. that are unproven at best and dangerous at worst. Continue to drink diet or regular cola in moderation until there is undisputed proof that it is harmful.

  33. @Paul There is undisputed evidence about regular soda, drinking even a glass or two a day of regular soda causes problems because sugar is an inflammatory agent, pure and simple. While despite popular myth, sugar intake doesn't cause diabetes, sugar is one of the prime causes for obesity (among other things, outside drinking soda, sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup is found in a lot of packaged/processed foods , things like bread, soups, stews, you name it). The real abuse is thanks to the power of the food industry, the FDA and the government don't do real research into nutrition, they come up with recommendations based on what the farm lobby and the agribusinesses want.

  34. @music observer...... "sugar is an inflammatory agent, pure and simple".....Except without glucose you would be dead. Sort of like oxygen which is known to promote free radical formation. Oh the horror of it.

  35. What's there to question? You know all diet sodas are not a healthy choice.

  36. if someone links an artificial sweetener to a particular disease i think that there is reason to worry. until then it seems more likely that these findings represent a lifestyle choice. in contrast, there are similar studies that show that people who eat nuts on a daily basis live longer, but no one thinks there is something protective in nuts, but rather people who eat nuts ( any kind of nut) probably arent eating chips, etc... it seems unless proven otherwise, the same logic should apply to both findings

  37. Human biology hasn't changed a huge amount in the last 150k years. Our ancient ancestors choices of beverage probably consisted of: water, breast milk, animal blood from a lucky kill, and some plant based brews when they found out through trial and error, that they not only didn't kill you, but had some medicinal benefits. You know there's a serious problem when you need a Phd in chemistry to understand the labels on this poison.

  38. Newsflash: Soda - with artificial sweeteners, chemical preservatives, artificial flavoring chemicals, and/or sugar - is really bad for you. My parents figured this out on their own in the 1960's when we were forbidden to drink soda, except on rare occasions as a treat (ginger ale, or Orange Crush that made our mouths orange and my mother cringe). Newsflash: Drinking a lot of water is good for you. (And has zero calories). Use refillable water bottles. Yes, you'll have to wash them out; it's not that hard.

  39. @L Newsflash, if you think this article says that artificial sweeteners are really bad for you, you didn't comprehend the article. Newsflash: Water is better for you than any drink- life isn't about just drinking water, though. It's good to have discourse on finding out what health effects the other drinks that we enjoy drinking can have.

  40. @L But water has no flavor.

  41. I like coke zero. CocaCola has clearly found a flavor that really resonate with individuals like me. I will do my best to limit/stop drinking it but it hard sometimes because the caffeine withdrawal. I read that Coke Zero contains 34 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce serving. (i dribk 2-3 a day). In comparison, an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains 108 milligrams of caffeine. Black tea that I prefer contains 40 to 70 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup.

  42. @GR It's not just the caffeine that's addictive. It's also the sweetener, artificial or not. If you need extra caffeine, there's No Doz.

  43. Excellent article. Science writing if often very bad--but this was perfectly explained and weighted, with a deep dive into the science (and limitations thereof) behind the attention-grabbing headlines. Fantastic job Andrew Jacobs.

  44. @Brian....No it isn't. They reported a 26% increase in premature deaths, but didn't say what caused the premature deaths. What if they were automobile accidents or maybe they were killed in military service?

  45. I read some time ago, around the beginning of my public health studies when I was taking a primer on health and nutrition, that as soon as you put something sweet into your mouth, the body begins preparing to mop up an anticipated elevation in blood glucose by increasing insulin production before your stomach even begins to digest the food/drink (I'm afraid it's been too long to recall the source). Some sort of biological efficiency that might have evolved in response to how quickly sugar, as opposed to most other carbohydrates (or fats or protein) can increase blood sugar. When you consume an artificial sweetener, especially a 0-calorie drink like diet soda, blood glucose elevation may never happen following that anticipatory insulin spike (artificially sweetened desserts, e.g., do at least have other carbohydrates that will increase blood glucose for the insulin to mop up). The logic around the disease pathology was that heavy diet drink consumption = repeatedly signaling the body to produce insulin without the actual increase in blood glucose the insulin was intended to respond to, and this short circuit contributes to insulin insensitivity, which is known to lead to metabolic diseases such as T2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc. It made a strong enough impression that I've advised my family and friends ever since to just drink regular soda in moderation rather than thinking they can indulge in diet versions routinely without consequence.

  46. It is worth noting that Europe does not allow corn syrup in drinks, so this study were actually comparing diet coke vs. regular coke with cane sugar. It would be interesting to see how the results in the U.S. would be like, comparing diet coke with the most common corn syrup coke

  47. @Han It was a mild shock to meto see that in Norway aspartame was used as a sweetener in their sodas when I was over there 8 years ago. Makes some sense because cane sugar is cost prohibitive and Norway is too mountainous to grow and produce sugar beets.

  48. @SW Norway also has a sugar tax - currently about 37c a liter of soda.

  49. @Han..."Europe does not allow corn syrup in drinks,"....Which is dumb because your liver can't tell the difference between corn syrup and sucrose, because when they get there they are essentially the same thing.

  50. The overwhelming evidence is that it is sugar not fat or French fries that causes obesity and premature death. Surely the most likely explanation is that of all the sweet things we consume, soda is the only one that is readily available sugar free. Diet soda is likely to be a single component in an otherwise sugar heavy diet. It's not the diet fizz but all the other sugar that's causing the issue. Once again it's correlation not causation.

  51. All events are Sequential but not all are consequential. If someone punches you in the nose, your nose bleeds. That's crystal clear, surely Consequential. Now consider that you have a headache and you take two aspirin. Did the headache go away because of, or despite the aspirin? Not very convincing, either way. The causative effects of drinking Diet Coke are not that clear. It is regular Coke that is the real culprit. What is clear is that millions of people are hospitalized with morbid obesity, blindness and amputations of toes and even legs because of a heavy dose of sugar and carbohydrates. Perhaps someday there will be a warning on regular Coke that it is extremely dangerous for your health and should not be ingested in large doses. It is more damaging than nicotine because it is so cheap and tasty and there is no cautionary message of any kind.

  52. My native cuisine is drenched in heavy sauces, fats and carbs. People drink beer and other alcohol freely. There’s really no fat epidemic. What is that they don’t do? Pour pounds (or kilos) of sugar down their throat. American pastries, ice cream and snacks are horribly sweet, to a point that the cloying sweetness obfuscates the actual flavor. When are Americans going to stand up for themselves and demand quality, tasty food that does not have tons of sugar and preservatives? Of course, it’s the poor who suffer the most. We need to be better to ourselves and our fellow citizens.

  53. @Angelica The food journalist and restaurant critic Jay Rayner noted that when saturated fats were declared as unhealthy and manufacturers began cutting down on them in their foods...that was the inflection point where obesity began to significantly rise in the US and UK, because losing fat meant losing flavor, and the makers compensated for it with more sugars (and salt.) (The discussion is in the book The Ten (Food) Commandments - and Rayner is not one for woo-woo on any side: apart from "thou shalt not cut off the fat", there is also " thou shalt not mistake food for medicine.")

  54. I recovered in 8 months from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by radically changing my diet. (My liver values weren't terrible but I was on the edge. That was enough for me. And I already did not drink alcohol.) That included cutting soda pop, diet and regular. No sugar, flour, etc etc. Soda pop is bad for humans, so are sugary juices and some fruits. Dr Mark Hyman 'What The Heck Do I Eat'. Buy it. Read it. Implement the changes. Get well. Before I changed my diet, every time I drank a diet cola my side would hurt. My liver was talking to me. And I felt generally unwell. But I was addicted to diet pop and I ignored my body. Then I met a very smart gastroenterologist who laid it on the line. Try water. Try teas and I drink coffee too. Give yourself a break and quit the pop. I miss it, no lie. But it isn't worth it. My liver still talks to me but it says "thank you" now.

  55. @American2019oTry organic kombucha instead - like GT's Trilogy

  56. Don’t often see people that carry a healthy weight drinking diet drinks. They are likely a minor factor in the cause of death.

  57. These types of retrospective studies are fundamentally flawed. They are a waste of time and money. Those people who choose to drink sugared soda represent a different demographic than those who choose to drink diet soda. They may share other characteristics which lead to premature death.

  58. The study, while probably useful, do nothing for the obesity problem in this country. The North American diet is a beeline to diabetes and heart disease. Just look around, not so much at your neighbor but look at the fat, sugar and cholesterol weigh stations on every corner of every town in America. Drive thru and, like the article states, order a diet drink with your $5 box of breakfast, lunch and dinner food. The food industry feeds America with bad-for-your-health items, not just sugary drinks. The problem is these companies bombard our children to a point that the kids 'demand' the bad food. It is one of the retail marketing masterpieces of our time. BTW, there are drinks out there that have limited sweetness and low carbs (no refined sugar or sugar substitute).

  59. I have slowly lost over 100 pounds. I am sad I needed to, but very glad I was able to. I was one of the least likely to be successful. When I find my determination flagging, I go sit by the door at WalMart, and am horrified anew at what I see.

  60. Funny we are quick to question studies that come with conclusions we don't like but throw all in on things with no studies like vaping and proclaim al sorts of nonsense because its "bad". That's the state of public health, part commercial part morality play

  61. I know that this study is flawed but anyone who thinks that drinking phosphoric acid and high fructose corn syrup or phosphoric acid and aspartame is neutral to their health has their head in the sand.

  62. Self-informed health nuts have been attacking aspartame for years despite the fact it hit the market as the most thoroughly tested food additive ever.

  63. Aspartame was also roundly panned by the FDA as unsafe for humans around 1950 and remained as such until Donald Rumsfield’s turn as the CEO of good ‘ol Monsanto around 1980. Politics at its best

  64. In an economy based on consumerism, and with medicine being kidnapped and industrialized by pharmaceuticals, why worry? The new religion is, with its bible of constant barrage of publicity of junk food and miracle treatments ("ask your doctor" they keep repeating as they are the ones who delayed your appointment because their rep was delivering free samples and some swag), financially well structured. I do not recall any doctor asking me about my lifestyle or alimentation. Instead, we are preached to take one aspirin a day, take your daily asthma pill, daily inhaler... And to exercise, oh yes, the famous cure of all. Try this. Buy vegetables, eat salads, adopt a non stressful regimen of nature walks and stretching. But since many of you are caught in a rat race, brainwashed to eat rat food. PS. Dropped the daily intake, and systematically avoid processed food.

  65. If you're the type of person who drinks significant amounts of diet soda, you're probably also consuming a highly processed food diet. The two go hand in hand. Is is it the soda or the copious refined carbs? Probably both. But there is also something going on with sugar substitutes. You can't fool our biology. If it's sweet, your brain will trigger an insulin response. If there's no sugar to shuttle off into cells, get ready for a carb craving soon after. There is no such thing s a free lunch, folks.

  66. @Joe... "If it's sweet, your brain will trigger an insulin response."....And how do you know this to be true? Because if it were true, people who consume large amounts of artificial sweeteners should go around being hypo- glycemic all day. They should barely be able to move; in fact hypo-glycemia can kill you.

  67. Watch the documentary "Sweet Misery" on the effects of Aspartame. I quit Diet Coke cold turkey since watching it. Never had another. Nasty business, Aspartame. You'll never guess who played a significant role in approving it.....

  68. @Pat McGill Reagan and Rumsfeld? Merck? Am I even close?

  69. Up until 5 years ago, I was known to drink 4-20 ounce bottles of Dr. Pepper a day. About a year ago, I started to convert to Vegetarianism. I still eat meat once in a while but currently plant based foods make up most of my diet. I have just recently been feeling as if life is enjoyable again. I am 73. If an old guy like me can do it, most people should be able. Lucky to be alive and feeling good.

  70. There's a big difference between "possibly not harmful" and "good for you." Clearly diet drinks are the former, and not the latter. Why take a chance, indeed?

  71. "prodigious consumers of artificially sweetened drinks were 26 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who rarely drank sugar-free beverages.".....But what caused the excess premature deaths? If the causes of death are all over the place then the study is meaningless. If they died from a single cause or a related causes, then it is very significant. Surely if they know that the people died, in most cases they could also know the causes of death. If in fact they don't know the causes of the premature deaths it is a sloppy study. If they do know the causes of the premature deaths and chose not to report them, it borders on dishonesty.

  72. It has become very clear that anything man has created to replace/alter naturally existing substances or circumstances, are toxic and harm man in the long run. My dad showed up for a chemotherapy treatment and the doctor told him he could not get the treatment that day because his platelets were too low. My dad was disappointed as he wanted to stay on track. The doctor asked him if he drank diet soda. My dad said yes. The doctor told him to stop drinking it and come back in a week. My dad did. Guess what happened? Yup. He was able to get his treatment that week. If the chemicals in diet soda affect platelet count why is this not common knowledge? I don’t here anyone I know talking about it. Have I missed something? I stopped drinking diet sodas after my Dad’s experience. I don’t miss it. Now I only drink black coffee, green tea, water and apple cider (yum.) Like another commenter, I tried diet soda recently for the heck of it and it was awful. This experience has changed my outlook entirely on all things synthetic that are ingested, inhaled or absorbed or sprayed on plants or the ground. Dr. Perlmutter (Grain Brain author) recommends if you only do two things, eliminate all gluten and high fructose corn syrup from your diet. For me, I would add artificially sweetened beverages as a third. (Easy to do comparatively speaking.)

  73. The study may be based on observation and association but until we have better data you have to be nuts to drink 2 or more cups of diet soda a day and risk a 26 percent higher chance of dying. You have to wonder about the funding sources of scientists trying to downplay that.

  74. observational study, association data, recall bias. It's probably not the diet soda

  75. My cousin died of a brain tumour,it was shrunk but returned. To our knowledge no one in his family had ever had cancer.To keep his weight down he drank nothing but diet lemonade for years. Since I discovered this our family have banned artificial sweetners from our diet and eat very little sugar and fatty food.

  76. These studies notoriously have a “first to post” mentality about them. Remember the flip flop on eggs?

  77. Not to mention all the horrible plastic waste created by these wretched "products".

  78. I respect science, but these scientists who say, "Drink only something flat and tasteless like water," or, "Eat lots of stuff that tastes really bad, like broccoli or cauliflower," are fools. No one not already on a water-and-rabbit-food diet is going to do this. To paraphrase an old saying, eating bad-tasting things that are good for you may or may not let you live longer, but it sure as heck will SEEM that way.

  79. Just don't drink it that simple.

  80. Bill Gates, the world's health advocate seems to be doing pretty well by diet sodas.

  81. It is possible that the sensitive cells of the pharynx send the glucose input signal to the blood and insulin is secreted through the pituitary gland witch produces hypoglycemia that causes uncontrollable hunger and gaining weight worsening the problems of obesity.

  82. I’ve been considering giving up my diet cola habit for sometime. This is the kick in the pants I needed. Am on day six. Wish me luck!

  83. @George Best of luck to you and much health and happiness!

  84. How about don't consume chemicals if you don't need to? Just a guess.

  85. @Rebecca All food and drink, no matter how 'natural', is composed of chemicals.

  86. @Rebecca Every thing is a chemical. Even water.

  87. I am slim, fit and healthy. I like sucralose and I also like Diet Coke. I don’t eat highly processed food, rarely drink alcohol and have never smoked. Sucralose and Diet Coke make my life more enjoyable. I will continue to consume both.

  88. I wish nutritionists would stop claiming the mantle of science. These kinds of studies just can't make real cause and effect claims, but they're always presented that way in the popular press (if you drink diet soda, you'll die early!). As a result, the story keeps changing (avoid fats!), and that tends to undermine trust in science itself. Nutrition science simply can't address the actual questions implied (will I be more likely to die early if I drink diet soda?), even careful studies like this that have large sample sizes and are published in prestigious journals.

  89. This is a classic, 'apples give you cancer' study. What I mean is that because you are dealing with statistics you can very often see what you want to see - most people who get cancer will probably also eat apples - but that doesn't mean there is actually a link between the two. As is noted in the article, there is no causal link between artificial sweeteners and premature death and this is the case in the vast majority of these types of studies and it needs to be much better handled by both scientists and the media. Take the seemingly obvious statement, "smoking gives you cancer." This is not in fact right. The correct statement would actually be, "smoking gives you a much higher statistical chance of contracting cancer." Not quite as sexy a headline, right, but far more accurate! There is no causal link between smoking and cancer - scientists don't know how smoking causes cancer, even if they see signs like damage to certain genes in smokers - there is just a very high statistical correlation, at present. A similar story is behind the MMR vaccine and autism scare - statistics, again, and this case, very badly researched ones. Information like this needs to be far better presented and explained, not left to the biggest selling headline...

  90. I am healthy and drink diet soda. I also weigh 40 pounds less than when I drank sugared soda. That's one thing that no one can deny: zero calories vs. lots of calories. So even if I die (I'm 68), I'm going to die with a thin, beautiful body!