Move over, bacon. Diet soda is here to kill ya dead. A recent study carried out at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that men who drink two or more servings of diet soda per day have a 23% higher risk of developing heart failure.
Conducted over a period of 12 years, the study surveyed 42,400 men between the ages of 45 and 79 and reportedly found "3,604 cases of a positive association between sweetened beverage consumption and risk of heart failure." Of those 3,604 cases of men, 509 died. D'oh.
"Our study findings suggest sweetened beverage consumption could contribute to heart failure development," say the authors of the study. So, does this mean we're all doomed to die at the hands of an aluminum can? Not necessary, as an accompanying study points out that "people who drink a large number of carbonated beverages generally have a poor diet, and are likely to be more susceptible to ill health." So, it might not be just the soda that's killing you—but the combination of soda, fast food, and lack of exercise.
The problem, though, is there—and what's scary is this is the first time soda has been linked to heart failure as opposed to heart disease, which is caused by coronary artery disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or a prior heart attack. Sweetened beverages lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which, in turn, cause heart failure.
How do we fix this and continue living nice, normal lives? For on thing, an American Beverage Association spokesperson emailed CNN, saying the industry "is committed to providing Americans with choices and information to help them live a balanced lifestyle."
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Jeremy Glass is a writer for Thrillist and is gonna stick with water for a while.