Diet soda does not deserve the hype



A picture of the supreme choice original soda and the just as unhealthy option diet coke

When passing through the halls of FHC, diet soda can be seen in the hands of multiple students—this could be aided by the fact that diet soda is the only type of pop available in the lunch line and vending machines—which is a fact I am salty over. 

Diet soda has been spotted being ordered outside of the restraints of school, though, and as I grab my normal pop, I cringe at the choice my accomplice made. 

Now, the whole thing with the idea that diet soda is a healthier alternative is simply not true. Usual soda pops have fewer artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium, and are instead filled with the regular sugar we find in many of the common foods we eat. These sweeteners are legally safe but still cause weight gain, diabetes, and tooth decay; these are the reasons why people avoid the typical sugar-filled sodas. 

Now, the whole thing with the idea that diet soda is a healthier alternative is simply not true.

I am saying that diet soda is not a healthier alternative, but I am not saying it is worse—it simply tastes worse. Both diet and normal soda are unhealthy; I personally feel more comfortable putting sugar into my system than chemicals made to taste like sugar. 

Well, although the original soda seems like the superior option, I know a lot of people who are addicted to its diet counterpart. This is fine, if only a little distasteful, but it turns into an issue when companies, ads, and people try to push the message that it is healthier.

Since both pop options have negative effects on your body, you would think people would completely rid themselves of the drink, but the caffeine and sweet taste keep people coming back for more; so, moderation is key. 

I struggle with this as I work in a place where I have access to plenty of sugary drinks, but I try to limit myself to one pop a shift and water for the rest of my time on the clock. It is important to not overload my body with pop, and the Food and Drug Administration agrees with my sentiments: they claim it is best to drink no more than one can of soda a week. This is not usually followed, and it shows. In 200 countries, 1.9 million cans of soda are consumed daily, and more than 10,000 Coke products are drunk every second. 

I am guilty of over-consumption when it comes to the sweet liquid, but it is clear society needs to cut back on its irresponsible consumption. Part of the solution is admitting diet soda is not a healthy alternative and that it is just as bad as sugary soda. The diet in the name is misleading; it simply is a different form with the same negative impacts. 

So, collectively, consumers should confront the truth of our soda intake and the lies pop companies are currently getting away with. Next time you treat yourself to your once-a-week soda, I hope you grab an original soda, or at the very least, recognize that you are taking the same risks with the diet counterpart.