Q&A With Susie
Hi Susie - is diet coke as bad for you as the media makes out. Surely a zero calorie drink can't be that harmful? Thanks Helen, WA
While diet soft drinks do not contain a significant number of calories there has been some concern about the effect large amounts of sweetener, consumed in conjunction with preservatives (found in some soft drinks) may have on the body's cells long term.
Although sweeteners are proven to be 'safe', concerns have been raised regarding the interaction of some types of sweeteners and preservatives used in soft drinks in the past.
As is the case with many areas of health and nutrition, a small amount is unlikely to do any harm but sweeteners, particularly artificial sweeteners should be used in moderation for this reason.
More relevant is the effect that sweet drinks may have on eating behaviour with evidence suggesting that drinking large amounts of sweet drinks, both sweetened naturally and with artificial sweetener may encourage overeating and an increase in blood glucose levels.
Again, a small amount is unlikely to do any harm, so limit your intake to one serve a day, choose the smallest serving size you can, enjoy it with a meal and be mindful of the fact that the more you have, the more you are likely to want.