Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Jennifer Otten Researches the Health Impacts of Diet Beverages

Posted: 9/3/2018 (CSDE Research)

CSDE Affiliate Jennifer Otten, Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the School of Public Health, was invited by the American Heart Association to join a panel of researchers investigating the health impacts associated with low-calorie sweetened beverages. After examining the link between diet drinks and weight gain, diabetes, stroke, dementia, and other health issues, Otten noted: “The advisory concluded that we need to limit low-calorie sodas and drinks and choose water instead, especially in children for whom we don’t know the long-term effects of consumption.”

Thirty-two percent of beverages consumed by adults – and 19% consumed by children – contain low-calorie sweeteners. However, the panel found that long-term studies about the health impacts of these beverages are sorely lacking. Says Otten: “This science advisory is based on the best available evidence, which is surprisingly quite limited.” You can read the panel’s science advisory below.

 

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