As if soda isn't already a central source of controversy worldwide. Mayor Bloomberg is pulling over-sized sugary beverages from restaurants and convenience stores, while headlines warn consumers of the illicit effects the fizzy brown liquid can have on the waistline. According to new research, your waistline isn't all that is in danger.
The researchers examined the mental health effects of sugar-sweetened sodas, iced teas, coffee, fruit punch and diet soda. The team evaluated the beverage consumption of more than 263,000 participants, aged 50 to 71, for one year. Ten years later, the research team followed up with study participants and found that those who consumed more than four cups per day of sugar-sweetened beverages or diet soda were 30 percent more likely to suffer from depression than those who did not consume these beverages at all. The greatest incidence of depression was found among those who favored consumption of diet soda or fruit punch.
On the other hand, coffee drinkers have a 10 percent reduced risk of depression. Black coffee has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It is also low in calories, at just 7 calories per 6 ounces (as long as you don’t add the extras.)
Switching to herbal teas was also recommended by researchers. Without artificial sweeteners, herbal tea has long been associated with improved metabolism, reduced risk of disease and is a rich source of phytochemicals and antioxidants.
This study may spawn the government to consider taking action, creating mandates on soda, as Bloomberg has in New York City. Of course, diet sodas are not on Bloomberg’s chopping block. In the meantime, sodas – diet and regular – appear to be a source of health distress globally, and yet remains a billion dollar industry.