Confession time: here at Refinery29, we've always got a case of Diet Coke open...and three more on back up. Quite a few of us rely on that bubbly brown sweetness to power us through long meetings, or pep us up after an over-indulgent lunch (five tacos seemed like a good idea at the time). Well, as it turns out, our soda addiction may be giving us a big ol' case of the sads.
MSN reports that a study of 300,000 adults found a link between soda consumption and increased risk of depression — and the risk for diet soda drinkers is especially high. Adults who drank four or more diet sodas per day were 31 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression (over those who drank no soda at all). Regular soda drinkers showed a 22 increase in depression.
Of course, correlation does not imply causation, and the study stops short of stating that soda actually causes depression. Still, when we tally up diet soda's risks — including lowered bone density — we have to wonder if our addiction is worth the risk to our physical and mental health. One thing's clear: Just because a soda is calorie-free doesn't mean it's risk-free.
So, if you find yourself majorly bummed out this winter, cutting down on the fizzy stuff may be more effective than that hundred-dollar sun lamp you've been eyeing. Or — silver lining alert! — you could get your caffeine fix from coffee instead. The same study found that coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of depression in women. Praise the Lord and pass the soy milk!