I love Strawberry Ribena as much as the next guy, but I’m under no illusions that it’s bad for me. If we’re being honest, if you buy a drink from the section show below, it probably ain’t that good for you…
Even Tropicana – deliciously fruity, perfectly healthy, one of your five-a-day Tropicana – is full of sugar. And sugar, as we know, is the devil.
But there’s another devil you might not be aware of, and it comes in the aforementioned ‘diet’ drinks that are apparently just as bad for you.
Basically, the sweeteners that are used in them to replace sugar are linked to various conditions you don’t want, and according to scientists, these drinks could actually increase your risk of heart attack, strokes and dementia.
Research showed that drinking two or more cans a day increases the risk of stroke by a quarter and heart disease by a third, while the risk of early death in those that drink these products is 16% higher than those that don’t.
The findings were reported in the journal Stroke and was based on a study of women.
Lead author of the study, Dr Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, stressed that their research, suggests a link to developing conditions but doesn’t prove they are a direct cause.
She said: “Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet.
“Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.”
Furthermore, another study, published in Medical News Daily found that heavy consumption of sweeteners such as saccharin or aspartame can lead to greater feelings of hunger and cravings.
Tracy Parker, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation said:
“We’re all too familiar with the fact that sugary drinks are not only bad for our teetb but the excess calories can make us put on weight, increasing our risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
“Although this study rightly suggests that diet drinks don’t do us any good, it’s observational.
“This means we don’t know why these drinks might be linked to an increased risk of heart and circulatory disease. To definitely understand the link between diet drinks and disease risk, more research is needed.
“But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Put your sugary drink down and swap it for water. Your body will thank you for it.”
This comes after energy drinks have been equally criticised by medical professionals, with reports saying that the UK government is set to ban the sale of energy drinks to under 16s.
That’s right, in a leaked letter obtained by the Sun, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to introduce a ban on the drinks to under 16s.
The letter from Hancock reads in part: “Following a high level of interest in the consultation, we plan on announcing that we will be ending the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 16.”
Mr Hancock adds that he is “taking a precautionary approach to mitigate the potential negative effects associated with their excessive consumption by children”.
The main reason for the proposed ban is the high level of caffeine in the drinks, which has been linked to a string of health problems for children, including head and stomach aches, hyperactivity, depression and sleep problems, as well as poorer performance, concentration and behaviour in schools.
Now, no doubt a large percentage of people will react to this by saying: ‘so what, it’s my body, I’ll drink what I bloody well like.’
Which is fine – you can do what you bloody well like – just as long as it isn’t costing the NHS (and therefore the rest of us) an extortionate amount of money because you can’t be arsed to look after your body properly.
Drink water, brush your teeth twice a day, love your neighbour, don’t eat yellow snow.
It’s basic stuff, people.
Images via Getty
Charismatic, witty, charming, engaging - four things Joshua Rogers will never be. Thankfully, he’s a semi-competent writer, who, after graduating university with two mostly pointless degrees, joined The Hook two years ago. He subsequently honed his writing skills over the course of several sex-related articles, bringing a very public shame to his family's good name.