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MD Anderson Dietitian Says Think Twice About Diet Soda

The Coca-Cola Company is launching a new ad campaign aimed at supporting Diet Coke as a safe and effective way to manage your weight. But at least one area dietitian is cautioning people to think twice about diet soft drinks.

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[Dawn Napoli, Registered Dietitian for MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando]

The new Diet Coke campaign kicks off initially in Atlanta newspapers.  The ads say that the Coca-Cola Company is committed to fighting obesity and that diet sodas can help with that.  The ads cite numerous studies that say the artificial sweetener aspartame is safe. Dawn Napoli is a registered dietitian with the MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando.  She says while it’s true that the National Cancer Institute says there’s no scientific evidence that aspartame can cause cancer, it is not a good tool in the fight against obesity. 

“There have been plenty of studies that the sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners actually make us crave more sugar foods because they are so much sweeter than sugar, so it’s actually kind of misleading telling them a diet soda is a better option,” she says.

Napoli says soda drinkers should also be aware that soda of any kind can leach calcium from bones, raising the risk of osteoporosis, and that some researchers have raised concerns over whether artificial coloring in soda is contributing to attention deficit disorders in children.  The new Diet Coke campaign is reportedly a response to declining soda and diet soda sales. 


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