If you’re a frequent diet pop drinker, then there’s a pretty good chance you are familiar with aspartame. The artificial sweetener is used to flavour Pepsi and Coca-Cola’s diet drinks. However, a few weeks ago Pepsi announced that American diet drinks will no longer be sweetened with aspartame (NutraSweet), but sucralose (Splenda). The new Pepsi bottles and cans will be marked with “Now Aspartame Free”, which eludes to the stipulation that aspartame is somehow detrimental to the consumer.
Despite the sheer lack of evidence for adverse health effects from regular consumption of aspartame, the presence of this artificial sweetener is apparently leading people to shy away from diet soda. Isn’t this great news? People are finally cutting down on their soda pop consumption! Well, of course that’s not how Pepsi sees it.
Nevertheless, the controversy with aspartame is not new. It has been going on for over 40 years! There is even a Wikipedia article about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame_controversy
So then why is Pepsi getting rid of aspartame?
It sounds like they are responding to consumers’ worries and definitely not the scientific evidence. However, we have to consider the big picture. Should you really be worrying about what artificial or natural sweetener is being used in your diet soda? I don’t think so. If you’re already going to drink something that probably isn’t the best for your health – and arguably leads to obesity – then what difference does it make?
The bottom line: if you really care about your health, then why are you drinking diet soda?