A new study has found that soft drinks with artificial sweeteners are linked to the same heart issues as regular pop.
These results came from the French NutriNet-Santé study with over 104,000 participants and their dietary records, completed every six months, according to a news release. Findings were published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology.
“Compared to non-consumers, both higher consumers of sugary drinks and of artificially sweetened beverages had higher risks of first incident cardiovascular disease, after taking into account a wide range of confounding factors,” study authors wrote.
After dropping the first three years of a decades-worth of follow-up data to remove biases, researchers found that nearly 1,400 participants had their first case of heart disease. These incidents were serious, including strokes and heart attacks.
While those who profit off the product had their questions, including the International Sweeteners Association (ISA), even the study authors were calling for further investigations to confirm the connection between the drinks and heart disease.
But even without further corroboration, the lead study author said the findings may play a role in regulatory discussions. “Our study suggests artificially sweetened beverages may not be a healthy substitute for sugar drinks, and these data provide additional arguments to fuel the current debate on taxes, labeling and regulation of sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages,” Chazelas said.
If you are looking for a healthier alternative carbonated beverage you may want to reach for carbonated, fruit-infused, water as a start.