There have been a lot of growing concerns lately over the artificial sweeteners used in Diet Coke and other foods and beverages. We've heard for years about how certain artificial sweeteners can cause cancer and heart disease and contributes to obesity (which the FDA says isn't true). Now America's favorite diet soda, Diet Coke, is experiencing a bit of a drop-off in sales because people are worried about the safety of its artificial sweetener, aspartame.
Isn’t life better with Diet Coke?
— Diet Coke (@DietCoke) September 26, 2013
Steve Cahillane, president of Coca-Cola America, acknowledged that Diet Coke sales were down three percent last year because of growing concerns over artificial sweeteners. Cahillane made the surprising admission during a conference call with industry analysts on Tuesday.
Diet Coke sales "are under a bit of pressure as people are questioning ingredients [and] ingredient safety," said Cahillane. “There are headwinds that we’re facing,” Cahillane added. “This is just one of them.”
Despite the drop in sales, Cahillane says that Coca-Cola isn't changing Diet Coke's recipe anytime soon. Diet Coke is still the number two selling soda in the world, right behind Coca-Cola. Even though safety concerns are an issue with Diet Coke (and pretty much all diet soft drinks), it's easy to see why the Coke execs aren't looking to change things up anytime soon.
Are you concerned about artificial sweeteners or will you keep drinking Diet Coke or another diet beverage? Respond here.
— Jeffrey Gladd, MD (@GladdMD) October 16, 2013
You really needed water but kept going for Diet Coke which is just artificial water and made you more thirsty lol
— MichelleMarbieDavies (@missmarbie) September 17, 2013
Is Aspartame Dangerous?
While the American Cancer Society says that researchers haven't found any solid proof that aspartame is linked to cancer in humans, there is some proof of an increase in blood cancer in lab animals. This alone isn't enough to get aspartame labeled unsafe, though. The American Cancer Society also says that no other health issues have been linked conclusively to aspartame.
The FDA also says there isn't enough proof that aspartame is dangerous enough to ban it. The "FDA finds no reason to alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food."
Image via YouTube