Just when we thought we were making a healthy choice by switching from normal fizzy drinks to diet versions, it turns out we could actually be doing more harm than good.
Although they may be lower in calories, the sweeteners used in them to replace the sugar are said to be linked to a whole host of nasty conditions.
According to scientists, diet drinks could actually increase your risk of heart attack, strokes and even dementia. Scary stuff.
Their research seemed to show that drinking two or more cans a day ups the risk of stroke by a quarter and heart disease by a third.
The risk of early death, when compared with people who never drink them, is 16 percent higher for people who do.
Published in the journal Stroke, the findings were based on a study of women. It showed that those who are obese and downing diet drinks more than doubles the risk of stroke.
Lead author of the study, Dr Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, stressed that their research, suggests a link to developing conditions but doesn't prove they are a direct cause.
Dr Mossavar-Rahmani said: "Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet.
"Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease."
According to another study, published in Medical News Daily, consuming sweeteners, like saccharin or aspartame, can actually lead to greater feelings of hunger, causing cravings for even more sweet things and increasing appetite.
Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital found that these sort of artificial sweeteners can cause people to give in to these cravings could actually lead to binge eating, which could put you at higher risk of conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
Tracy Parker, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation said that much more research is needed into the topic.
"We're all too familiar with the fact that sugary drinks are not only bad for our teeth," she said, "but the excess calories can make us put on weight, increasing our risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
"Although this study rightly suggests that diet drinks don't do us any good, it's observational.
"This means we don't know why these drinks might be linked to an increased risk of heart and circulatory disease. To definitely understand the link between diet drinks and disease risk, more research is needed.
"But that doesn't mean you're off the hook. Put your sugary drink down and swap it for water. Your body will thank you for it."
Sound advice there, lads.
Featured Image Credit: PA/Google
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