Depression-beverage link is “unfounded”, says Bev Council

Friday, 11 January, 2013

The Australian Beverages Council has called findings from a recent study that suggests a link between beverage consumption and depression “unfounded” and has criticised the authors’ scientific methods.

“This research is nothing more than an abstract - it has not been peer-reviewed, published or even, at the very least, presented at a scientific meeting,” said Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker.

“Furthermore, neither this abstract nor the body of scientific evidence supports that drinking soft drinks or other sweetened beverages causes depression. Thus, promoting any alleged findings without supporting evidence is not only premature, but irresponsible.”

In response to the researchers’ comments on artificial sweeteners, Parker said, “The facts are that low- and no-kilojoule sweeteners are among the world’s most thoroughly studied food ingredients, with hundreds of studies confirming their safety.

“The sweeteners used in beverages are safe and have been thoroughly tested. Aspartame, for example, is one of the most thoroughly researched food ingredients in use today, with more than 200 studies to support its safety.

“The industry is committed to providing a variety of products for every lifestyle and occasion,” Parker concluded. “All of our products can be part of an active, healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity.”

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