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Can Diet Soda Raise Your Risk of Diabetes?

Chicago, Ill. – Feb. 26, 2013 – Hey ladies, you might want to think twice before downing your next diet drink. According to new research, drinking just one 16.9 ounce bottle of artificially sweetened diet soda a week can increase a woman’s risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 15 percent over drinking regular soda.

After studying the habits of more than 66,000 women from 1993 to 2007, researchers also found that women who drank 50 ounces of diet soda increased their risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60 percent.

The findings by French scientists at Institute of Health and Medical Research, were published the February edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Scientists say the culprit may be aspartame, one of the main artificial sweeteners used today, which has been linked to an increase in glycaemia (the presence of glucose, or sugar, in the blood) and consequently a rise in the insulin level.

Although the findings are compelling, some physicians say women shouldn’t throw out all of their diet soda based on this one study. According to Dr. Nikhil Parikh, chief resident of internal medicine at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, there are alternatives.

“It’s all about moderation,” says Dr. Parikh. “You can over-do a good thing. I recommend my patients pay closer attention to how the artificial sweeteners may be affecting them, causing cravings for even more sugary sweets that will, in turn, undo the good of cutting out the sugar in the soda.”

Dr. Parika said women can reduce their risks overall simply by reaching for water first, to quench their thirst. “And consider other simple lifestyle changes, such as getting more active and watching what you eat overall. After all, your health isn’t going to come in a can.”

About Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center is a 408-bed hospital in Chicago with a Level I trauma center and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the highest designations awarded by the state of Illinois. It offers comprehensive inpatient services, including medical, surgical, obstetrics and pediatric care, as well as a full breadth of outpatient services. A recipient of numerous awards for quality and clinical excellence, Illinois Masonic was ranked one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters), as well as named a recipient of the organization’s Everest Award for National Benchmarks in 2010 and 2013. The medical center has also been named a Leader in the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index for the past four years, as well as one of the Chicago region’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for the past two years. In 2012, the hospital achieved Magnet redesignation for excellence and quality in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program, which it originally achieved in 2008. Illinois Masonic is part of Advocate Health Care, a 2009 and 2010 Thomson Reuters Top 10 U.S. health care system for quality and clinical performance and the largest provider of health care services in Illinois. For more on Illinois Masonic, visit

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