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letters | with health studies cited, another look at diet sodas

Fear of aspartame, with a bad-science aftertaste

Sales of diet sodas are falling faster than regular sodas in the United States, according to an industry tracker.

Paul Sakuna/Associated Press/File 2009

Sales of diet sodas are falling faster than regular sodas in the United States, according to an industry tracker.

Like Nathaniel P. Morris (“Hooked on diet soda,” Op-ed, Aug. 11), I, too, worry about my level of consumption of diet soda. But I have a hard time believing that diet soda causes a large increase in the incidence of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.

People consume diet soda in order to avoid the intake of calories, so as to help reduce or control weight. Therefore, the population consuming diet soda is disproportionately overweight or obese, compared to the lucky skinny people who can get away with drinking sugary beverages. The reason for the increase in heart disease or stroke and type 2 diabetes is probably the excess weight, not aspartame.

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In over 40 years in science and medicine, I have learned to sniff out assertions that sound like bad science. When Morris gains more experience, he will be able to do this also.

Dr. Donald G. Ross

North Andover

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