My mom didn’t let us drink soda when I was growing up because of its potential affect on our teeth. Every once in a while, though, I got a ginger ale or Sprite and was totally in love with how sweet, fizzy and wonderful it was. I fully understand why people can get so hooked on sweetened drinks, as well as diet ones, but putting down the can or bottle is an increasingly good idea for those who find themselves consuming multiple sodas per week. It seems that they might have a mental effect on us in addition to the terrible addition they add to our week’s caloric intake.
According to new research done at the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, consuming sweetened drinks — particularly those that are diet and/or fizzy — may increase your risk for depression. One of the study’s researchers, Honglei Chen, told the press:
“Sweetened beverages, coffee and tea are commonly consumed worldwide and have important physical – and may have important mental – health consequences.”
In the study, researchers evaluated beverage consumption among 263,925 participants between ages 50 to 71 in 1995 and 1996. They found that, ten years later, participants who drank more than 4 cups or cans per day of sugar-sweetened or diet sodas were 30 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with depression than those who drank none. Those who chose diet sodas, iced tea and fruit punch were even more likely to have depression.
Oddly enough — at least, I personally would not have expected this — those who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day were 10 percent less likely to receive a diagnosis for depression than those who drank none. This was likely because they were too energetic and busy to notice. Just kidding! But in all seriousness, researchers did state that ”cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk.”
Photo: Steven DePolo / Flickr