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Is diet soda less healthful than regular soda?

I've always assumed that diet drinks are indeed healthier than their counterparts (as that is what they're advertised for, they have no calories, no/little sugar, no fat, and very low sodium).

However, every time I get a diet drink, there is always someone to say "Ew, diet, its not even healthier" or something akin to that. Then someone always (half-jokingly) says "it causes cancer." But when I press them on why it is less healthy, they are never able to form a coherent argument beyond "It has artificial stuff in it."

Is there any evidence that drinking diet soda, is less or more healthy than drinking regular non diet soda?

  • (I think this is sufficiently distinct from the “duplicate”; in particular, the answers there don’t answer this question. And the notability of this question makes it quite a bit more relevant.) Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 10:23
  • Is this one notable, and distinct from the others? We have questions on diet soda connection with tooth decay, multiple sclerosis, etc.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 12:56
  • 1
    Even is this question covers some new ground, having a link to the old question is still helpful for anyone interested in the topic.
    – Christian
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 16:37
  • @Christian, editing in the duplicate link when the question is not closed as a duplicate is rather confusing, if you want to link the related question a comment is much better.
    – Mad Scientist
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 16:49
  • Is this question asking something that hasn't been asked already? - skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/369/…
    – Tom77
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 18:32


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