Diet Coke, despite not tasting anywhere near as good as regular Coke, is still a popular choice for those of us inclined to consume sugar-free sodas that make us temporarily feel better about all the shitty choices we've made—and will continue to make—in life. Popularity aside, there's also a fair amount of controversy surrounding Diet Coke's impact on the human body. In a thorough refuting of the most prominent Diet Coke damage theories, the Outline's Yvette d'Entremont is calling bullshit on the demonization of America's favorite aspartame vessel.
Ever peeped an article about Diet Coke causing cancer and/or multiple sclerosis? You probably have. However, as explained in the Outline's detailed rebuttal, these claims are thus far "full of shit." Initial concern regarding an increase in various types of cancers actually began eight years before aspartame was introduced to consumers, with additional testing showing no causal relationship between the sweetener and cancer. As for MS fears, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society says there's currently "no scientific evidence" supporting claims of aspartame causing the chronic disease.
The same goes for claims of Diet Coke causing depression, claims which arguably peaked upon publication of a 2013 study by the American Academy of Neurology. The study, which the Outline describes as "an example of correlation and causation gone horribly awry," found that 4.3 percent of participants reported being diagnosed and treated for depression within a 10-year period. That study, as noted by the British Dietetic Association's Gaynor Bussell to BBC News at the time, was a "one-off" and should not be viewed as proof that such sweeteners cause depression.
So Diet Coke allegedly gives you no cancer, no multiple sclerosis, and no depression? Damn. But it's definitely making everyone fat, right? Nah. The swath of articles out here placing the weight gain blame on Diet Coke, d'Entremont explains, typically all share one fatal flaw: the only variable is soda consumption. Additionally, many studies that end up being cited in articles with sensationalized headlines often fail to have participants thoroughly report their caloric intake.
The full rundown of Diet Coke slander can be peeped here, though ending this post without some advice from a leading H2O enthusiast would just be unfair:
Drink more water. Also, enjoying the occasional non-water beverage probably won't destroy every fiber of your being.