Diet sodas can harm teeth and kidneys

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Katie Ghotbi

Calorie-free sodas have been a staple of the American diet for about 50 years, and many health-conscious teenagers replace their favorite sugary sodas with the diet versions, but popular drinks such as Diet Coke and Diet A&W Root Beer contain substances that may be as unhealthy as the added sugars in regular sodas.

“It’s a common mistake that the sugar in soda is what is bad for your teeth,” said dentist Dr. Patricia Lee. “But in fact it is the carbonate and artificial coloring which is damaging.”

The vending machine near the Freshman/Sophomore Locker Room that serves Diet Coke for $1.25 is a popular stop for thirsty students between classes.

“After math class I love stopping by the soda machine to get a Diet Coke. It helps to wake me up and it tastes good,” said sophomore Solana Boboschi.

Caffeine, excess sodium, and phosphoric acid are just some of the ingredients in diet sodas that have been proven to damage health. While soda companies try to appeal to weight-conscious America with advertisements like Coke Zero’s “Real Taste, Zero Sugar,” the companies don’t mention diet sodas have been proven to increase appetite and heighten blood pressure.

Women who drink two or more diet sodas a day are more likely to have renal failure compared to those who drink only one or less, according to researchers at Harvard University. The artificial sweeteners such as aspartame were shown to cause kidney dysfunction in study participants.

“Ever since I found out diet sodas were potentially harmful, I stopped drinking them. I dislike the artificial taste of the sweeteners in the diet sodas anyways,” said sophomore Annie DeLancie. “Regular Coca-Cola is the best.”

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