From the February 2009 Idaho Observer:

Drink diet soda; develop diabetes

By Don Harkins

Based upon FDA claims that aspartame is a "safe" artificial sweetener, the Calorie Control Council and the American Diabetic Association have long been counseling diabetics who drink sodas to drink diet sodas sweetened with aspartame. Neither organization would change their pro-aspartame tune though both had been presented with irrefutable, independently-generated scientific proof that aspartame literally destroys diabetics. The proof has been confirmed one more time.

A daily diet soda drinking habit is associated with significantly greater risks for select incident components of the metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) and type 2 diabetes, according to the results of an observational study reported online in the January 16, 2009 edition of Diabetes Care.

"Two longitudinal cohort studies have shown positive associations between diet soda consumption and incident MetSyn independent of baseline measures of adiposity," wrote Jennifer A. Nettleton, PhD, et al, from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston.

Initial evaluation was performed from 2000 to 2002, at which time baseline food frequency questionnaires measured diet soda consumption. Three follow-up evaluations were performed from 2002 to 2003, 2004 to 2005, and 2005 to 2007. Careful analyses of the data revealed that, compared with participants who did not drink diet soda, those who drank diet soda at least daily had a 36 percent greater relative risk for incident MetSyn and a 67 percent greater relative risk for incident type 2 diabetes.

"Although these observational data cannot establish causality, consumption of diet soda at least daily was associated with significantly greater risks of select incident MetSyn components and type 2 diabetes," the study authors wrote.

"These results corroborate findings from the ARIC [Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities] and Framingham studies and show stronger adverse associations exist between diet soda and type 2 diabetes," the study authors conclude. "Diet soda consumption, either independently or in conjunction with other dietary and lifestyle behaviors, may lead to weight gain, impaired glucose control and eventual diabetes."

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute supported this study. The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships that could be construed as prejudicing the study.