Drinking Diet Soda While Pregnant Linked to Overweight 1-Year-Olds
According to a study by Canadian researchers, the children of mothers who drink diet soda (or pop) and other artificially sweetened beverages during pregnancy are more likely to be overweight by the time they are 1 year old than babies whose mothers drink no diet soda while pregnant. The study looked at 3,000 mothers who delivered healthy babies between 2009 and 2012, and then examined the babies a year later.
After controlling for factors like breastfeeding duration, maternal smoking, maternal body mass index, the mother's age, and more, researchers found that women who drank a single can of diet soda a day doubled their risk of having an overweight 1-year-old.
"This is an association, and not a causal link," stressed Meghan B. Azad, an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba and lead author of the study, quoted in the New York Times. "But it certainly raises the question of whether artificial sweeteners are harmless. It's not time to ban them or tell everyone not to consume them, but there's no great benefit to consuming these drinks, so there's no harm in avoiding them."