New NIH Study: Sweetened Drinks/Diet Soda Increases Risk Of Depression

A new study reports that consuming sweetened drinks increases the risk of depression. The study is due to be presented at the 65th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology which is being held in San Diego, CA March 16-23, 2013.

From 1995 to 1996, consumption of sweetened drinks such as soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee was evaluated in 263,925 people between 50 to 71 years of age. Ten years later, researchers asked the participants if they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. A total of 11,311 individuals had developed depression.

People who consumed more than four cans of soda per day were 30% more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda. Individuals who consumed four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38% more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks. 

Interestingly, people who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee.

The risk appeared to be greater for people who consumed drinks containing artificial sweeteners such as diet sodas compared to than regular soda and diet tea or diet fruit punches rather than than regular tea or regular fruit punch.

The study's lead scientist Honglei Chen, MD, PhD who is with the National Institutes of Health stated the following, "Sweetened beverages, coffee and tea are commonly consumed worldwide and have important physical—and may have important mental—health consequences,”

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.

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