Investigating the cult of the
By Meg Hess
March 9, 2006 | Diet Coke's sweet taste and no calorie
content is growing in popularity across the globe. Many
people can find themselves addicted to it, not going
a day without popping a tab of an ice cold can. Diet
Coke was launched in the United Kingdom 21 years ago
as Coca-Cola's first brand extension.
Natalie Brown, a junior majoring in family finance,
said she is an avid Diet Coke fan and cannot start her
day without opening a can every morning. "I was drinking
up to ten cans a day at one point, but I am trying to
cut back," explained Brown. "At this point it's hard
for me to go more than five hours without having drink.
I crave the caffeine and get frequent headaches if I
go too long without it."
Iva-Marie Palmer explains her addiction to Diet Coke
in the article The
Cult of Diet Coke "the Diet Coke's coolness contrasted
with the steam of the shower makes for an invigorating
wake up that I'd recommend to the groggiest of non-morning
people. I have had to cut back my consumption somewhat
, for fear of having my teeth rotting with phosphoric
acid and my sleep eliminated by the tons of caffeine,
but if I could, I would drink up to 10 cans daily,"
says Palmer. "Diet Coke is all there is for me, I see
it in my dreams, in my fantasies, and my future."
Camille Ward, an accountant at Camp Chef and mother
of two, said she also loves to crack open a crisp Diet
Coke every morning when she arrives at work at 8 a.m.,
drinking about five or six cans a day.
"There is just something about the taste that is so
refreshing," Ward said. "I like to always be drinking
something and its nice not to worry about the calories."
What makes Diet Coke so sweet while including no calories
is the ingredient aspartame. According to The Guardian
Nexis, aspartame is close to 200 times sweeter than
"It's regularly consumed by more than 350 million people
worldwide, and is estimated to account for 62 percent
of the market in sweetening agents," the article stated.
"It's commonly found in the United Kingdom in diet colas
and other low-calorie drinks, juices, sweets, chewing
gum, cereals, yogurts, other desserts, snack foods such
as crisps, medicines and vitamin supplements, including
those for children."
Dr. Russel Blaylock, at Mercola.com,
said aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters
in the brain. However, too much aspartate and glutamate
in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing too much
calcium in the cells. The cells are also called excitotoxins,
because they excite or stimulate the neural cells to
death. A few of the many chronic illnesses related to
this condition include: multiple sclerosis, memory loss,
Parkinson's disease, AIDS, epilepsy and many more.
Scientists at the European Ramazzini Foundation, conducted
a study on the affects of aspartame, using 1,800 rats.
The results showed aspartame caused cancer of the kidney,
and the peripheral nerves, mainly in the head. Aspartame
was also linked to increased risk of leukemias and lymphomes
in female lab rats. The risk to infants, children, pregnant
women, the elderly and persons with certain chronic
health problems from excitotoxins are great. Marcelle
Pick an OB/GYN NP wrote an article titled
Sugar substitutes and the Potential Danger of Splenda.
"Aspartame, the main ingredient in Equal and Nutrasweet,
is responsible for the most serious cases of poisoning,
because the body actually digests it," Pick said. "Aspartame
should be avoided by most women, but particularly those
with neuropsychiatic concerns."