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Drinking one soft drink a day, diet or not, is associated with a 44 percent increased likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome, that unwelcome conglomeration of conditions that puts you at risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
At least, those were the findings of researchers who analyzed four years of data from over 6,000 Bostonians in the Framingham Heart Study.
In the face of comments that the findings make no sense, from Dr. Dean Ornish as well as the president of the American Beverage Association, lead researcher Dr. Ramachandran Vasan hypothesized that the caramel coloring in diet soft drinks may promote inflammation and insulin resistance.
Or, perhaps, the sugary taste of diet drinks conditions people to prefer other sweetened foods. He said, however, that the study did compensate for saturated and trans fat intake, smoking, and lack of physical activity. Nevertheless, a significant association of diet soda with metabolic syndrome was still found. As usual, more research has been called for.
Sources: Circulation, July 2007
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