Study Links Consumption Of Diet Drinks To Depression

It’s been a long day. You need a pick-me-up, but calories? Those are for chumps. So you grab a diet soda and guzzle your way to a little caffeine jolt. Or if it’s caffeine-free, a faux sweet treat. But according to a new study, even if you’re winning the war on extra calories, you could be running the risk of depression. Usually I’m just sad when I get to the bottom of the can, but this sounds a lot more serious.

Live Science says the study found a link between drinking diet soda and other calorie-free drinks after analyzing information from more than 263,900 U.S. adults between the ages of 50 to 71. Participants were asked questions about what they drank between 1995 and 1996 and then asked 10 years later if they’d been diagnosed with depression since 2000.

Go to it, science!:

People who regularly drank four or more cans of any type of soda a day were 30 percent more likely to have received a diagnosis of depression than people who did not drink soda. The risk of depression was especially high for people who drank diet soda — a 31 percent increased risk compared to a 22 percent increased risk for those who drank regular soda, the researchers said.

Those who drank four or more cans of diet fruit drinks were 51 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression compared to those who did not drink diet fruit drinks.

As for people who were sipping on four or more cups of coffee , they had it better and were 10% less likely to have been diagnosed with depression than those who didn’t partake.

By all means, this isn’t saying that if you drink diet beverages you’ll get depressed. The study only found an association and not a cause of depression. There are a whole lot of other circumstances out there that could weigh in, as there are many kinds of depression and ways it manifests itself.

“More research is needed to confirm these findings, and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors,” said study researcher Dr. Honglei Chen, of the National Institutes of Health.

In other words, don’t go off all your meds and  decide that if you stop drinking diet sodas cold turkey, all will be rosy.

Drinking Diet Soda Linked to Depression [Live Science]