Diet Soda May Increase Risk of Depression

Amanda MacMillan, SELF magazine

Goodbye diet soda, hello cup o' joe! A study released today finds that people who regularly drink sweetened beverages--especially artificially sweetened beverages--have a higher than average risk of depression. But those who regularly drink coffee, however, have a slightly lower than average risk.

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That's right: If you're looking for yet another reason to ditch sugary or diet drinks in 2013 (what, we didn't give you enough reason last year?), this may be a good one to consider. In a study being presented next month at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that people who drank more than four servings of soda or fruit punch a day were 30 and 38 percent more likely, respectively, to develop depression over the 10-year study period than people who drank neither of the beverages. And the people who drank diet versions of soda, fruit punch, or iced tea seemed to have an even greater risk of depression compared to those who drank regular versions of the stuff.

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Subjects who drank four cups of coffee per day, however, were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank none. "Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk," say the study authors.

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We'll happily raise a cup--perhaps a new reusable one from Starbucks?--to toast this new study. Cheers, and happy caffeinating!

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