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The SkepDoc

Diet Sodas: Are the Dangers In the Chemicals or the Headlines?

IN APRIL 2017, THERE WAS A FLURRY OF news reports with alarming headlines:

• “Diet Sodas May Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke, Study Finds”

• “A Daily Diet Soda Habit May Be Linked to Dementia–Alzheimer’s”

• “Is Diet Soda Harming Your Brain Health?”

• “Diet Sodas Tied to Dementia and Stroke”

• “Here’s Another Reason You Might Want to Quit Diet Soda”

• “Drinking Too Much Soda May Be Linked to Alzheimer’s”

• “Is Soda Bad For Your Brain? (And is Diet Soda Worse?)”

• “Diet Soft Drinks Triple the Risk of Dementia”

• “Two Things Diet Soda Does to Your Brain”

Some of these headlines were from respectable sources like The New York Times and The Washington Post. It’s not surprising that many people were alarmed by the news and assumed that diet sodas had been proven to cause dementia. Some people were frightened enough to stop drinking diet sodas.

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About Skeptic

CAMPUS CRAZINESS: THE WAR ON SCIENCE No Barriers to Inquiry; I Am Not a Racist, And So Are You: An Unauthorized Peek at the Great Shaming Taking Place at an Institution of Higher Learning Near You, and Other Fireside Tales; Radically Wrong in Berkeley; When Secularism Becomes a Religion: The Alt-Left, the Alt-Right, and Moral Righteousness; When Science Becomes the Enemy SPECIAL SECTION — BIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR Canine Cognition: Did dogs become smarter through domestication? An interview with Dr. Brian Hare; Bird Brains: Are crows as intelligent as some scientists claim?; What Biology Can Teach Us About Crime and Justice ARTICLES: Gary Taubes and the Case Against Sugar; From Camelot to Conspiracy: Memory, Myth, and the Death of JFK; Now Playing at a Cartesian Theater Near You: Dualism Returns COLUMNS: The SkepDoc: Diet Sodas: Are the Dangers In the Chemicals or the Headlines?, by Harriet Hall, M.D. JUNIOR SKEPTIC: Ghost Ships, by Daniel Loxton