How Bad Is Diet Soda For You?

(Last Updated On: December 13, 2019)

How Bad Is Diet Soda For You?

If you drink a lot of soda, you’ve probably had various forms of diet soda marketed towards you. Honestly, you probably get ads for it regardless of whether you drink the stuff or not. And these ads tend to work. A lot of us know of people who almost exclusively drink diet soda, thinking it a healthier alternative to regular old pop. Maybe you are that person. Most of us, however, know that it is not exactly great for you. But just how bad is diet soda really? Let’s take a look.

How Bad Is Diet Soda For You?

Diet Soda Research

So it’s not really disputed that soda is bad for your teeth. Diet soda was released as a no-calorie and artificial sugar alternative to regular soda. So it was marketed to be healthier. Except we both know that it is not healthy–but instead of just being worse the beverage just kind of opens a bunch of other health complication doors. 

Turns out, diet soda is associated with cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, liver issues, and strokes. You can sift through the data we went through here if you want. 

In fairness, a lot of studies sample from people who already drink diet soda. Which means it’s entirely possible that a disproportionate amount of people who already suffer from these conditions drink diet soda. But the percentages for some of these conditions were in the 20th percentile. Like diabetes for example. Which means over 20% of Americans who drink diet soda have type 2 diabetes. 

The combined population of Americans who have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is 9%. Which either means chronic drinking of diet soda puts you at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, or something in the flavor appeals just to type 2 diabetics. Last we checked, having diabetes doesn’t give you a “diabetes tastebud template.” 

Even if you’re not buying the diabetes, stroke, etc. research, it’s not really disputed that soda is bad for your teeth. It also isn’t disputed that soda (diet and non-diet) has zero nutritional value. Ergo, there is zero benefit to continue drinking it if you do.

Soda Research is Shady

Given how much of a consensus it is that soda is terrible for your health; it’s surprisingly difficult to find studies about Coke products and the like in general. It turns out there’s actually a reason; and it’s probably not because soda is secretly the health boon we’ve all been waiting for. 

Turns out, many corporations have a stranglehold on research into their products. Coca-Cola is probably the one we know best for it (though it’s also kind of common knowledge that Pepsi, Nestlé, and others are involved in similar schemes). When it comes to research that Coke funds, they’re (under their contracts) allowed to ax any research they don’t like. If you think Coke is going to allow research that details how physically damaging their products are to be published, we are jealous of your optimism. 

While it was hard to find many instances of Coke actually straight axing research, it was easier for people to find that Coca-Cola had instituted a lot of redactions. The long short is that Coke tried to, and kind of found a way, to turn research into advertising. 

Heck, it even came out that Coke tried to influence the CDC on issues regarding diets and obesity. Yeah, the CDC, like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In this report, it’s concluded that not only did Coke try to influence the CDC, but they were also doing so in favor of corporate interests, rather than public health. 

Anyway, we suppose the lesson of the day is be careful of big corporations and diet soda. 

Let’s see how well the soda advertising has worked here.



About Kyler 707 Articles
Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.