Why You May Want To Avoid Diet Soda During Pregnancy
I'm not much of a soda drinker, but when I'm pregnant I crave it constantly. Something about the combination of the smooth carbonation, the sugar, and the cold, crisp taste never fails to help my nausea.
But of course, being the super professional nurse and mother that I am, I would always try to avoid soda–except when I couldn't. Especially when I was on night shift, that 3 AM Cherry Pepsi just seemed to give me the extra kick I needed to get through my shift. The only problem? A lot of the time, either because it was all they had or I was trying not to drink any extra calories, I would choose a diet soda.
And I may have thought that because the soda was technically “sugar-free,” that it meant it was a better choice to drink while I was pregnant, but a new study shows that I was very, very wrong.
You should really try to avoid soda all together, even when you're not pregnant, but this study has found that diet soda may be especially dangerous to pregnant women because it has been linked to obesity in toddlers.
A report out of Canada found that mothers who drank diet sodas (or drinks with other artificial sweeteners) during their pregnancies were more likely to have babies who were overweight by one-years-old.
The study was a pretty in-depth one, meaning that the researchers were careful to rule out any other contributing factors that could have caused the weight problems in the babies. Which means that all that diet soda = bad news for babies.
Interestingly enough, the weight problems in the kids didn't show up until later in life, around their first birthday. The babies who were under one-year-old weren't overweight but showed problems later, which leads us to assume that somehow the artificial sweeteners messed with the baby's development in a way that would cause them to have problems later. In general, the study's researchers were careful to point out that they can't say with 100% certainty that artificial sweeteners = overweight kids, but it is a fact that soda, diet or otherwise, has absolutely zero nutritional value, so it's best to avoid it, especially during pregnancy.
Do you drink diet soda?