By Science Daily

New research suggests that drinking sweetened beverages, especially diet drinks, is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults while drinking coffee was tied to a slightly lower risk. The study was released January 8 and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013.

“Sweetened beverages, coffee and tea are commonly consumed worldwide and have important physical — and may have important mental — health consequences,” said study author Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, with the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

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The study involved 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71 at enrollment. From 1995 to 1996, consumption of drinks such as soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee was evaluated. About 10 years later, researchers asked the participants whether they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. A total of 11,311 depression diagnoses were made.

People who drank more than four cans or cups per day of soda were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda. Those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38 percent more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks. People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee. The risk appeared to be greater for people who drank diet than regular soda, diet than regular fruit punches and for diet than regular iced tea.

“Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk,” said Chen. “More research is needed to confirm these findings, and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors.”

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.

This article was written and published by Science Daily.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. While I do think that soda is extremely bad for us, especially diet sodas, I have to wonder what other variables could explain the depression. They surveyed adults in the age range of 50-71. Just thinking of people I know who could have taken part of his survey, some of them lost spouses… lost jobs… lost homes… Or had children that had those things happen and those surveyed ended up needing to step up and help their family members… Needless to say, there has been a lot of stress and depression inducing events during the survey period. I’ll have to take a look at the actual survey to see if those questions were addressed. Just something to consider…but it wouldn’t surprise me if the soda helped to make people who had “issues” fully depressed. Diet and sugar laden beverages are just horrible things to drink.

  2. They included coffee but did not include hot tea. It must be an American thing, only ice tea!!

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