It’s a rough time to be in the soda industry. First Pepsi drops a contender for the all-time worst televised ad of the decade, now a new study comes out saying that artificially sweetened drinks like diet soda might be increasing your risk for stroke or dementia.
That’s according to Stroke, a medical journal published by the American Heart Association. They found that people who drink a daily diet soda run triple the risk of stroke and dementia to those who drink less than one a week, as highlighted by USA Today.
At this point, diet soda has virtually nothing redeeming about it whatsoever. One study shows that it doesn’t actually help you lose weight, making the “diet” part of its title sort of a misnomer. Another showed that people who drink diet soda are at the exact same level of risk for heart disease as those who drink regular soda.
In fact, the study in Stroke found that regular soda and sugary fruit drinks don’t increase your risk for dementia or stroke, so you’re honestly better off drinking regular soda than diet. Although the best option of all is to drink neither, since regular soda boosts your risk for type 2 diabetes something fierce.
One silver lining to the study is that even though diet soda may increase your risk for dementia, the risk is still pretty low.
“Even if someone is three times as likely to develop stroke or dementia, it is by no means a certain fate,” said Matthew Pase, study author and a senior fellow at the Boston University School of Medicine. “In our study, 3 percent of the people had a new stroke and 5 percent developed dementia, so we’re still talking about a small number of people developing stroke or dementia.”