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Study Finds Chronic Diet Soda Drinking May Lead To Strokes And Dementia

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski.

We all know that sugar-laden sodas like Coke and Pepsi aren’t exactly the best thing for your health. Turns out the diet versions of those sodas may not be either.

A new study out of the American Heart Association’s scientific journal, Stroke, found that people who drink diet soda daily are three times more likely to experience a stroke or dementia.

Over 4,000 total subjects were evaluated over ten years for their consumption of both sugary and diet beverages for development of dementia or stroke. While diet soda consumption did show an association with a higher risk of stroke and dementia, sugary beverages did not.

While the authors didn’t postulate as to why this was the case, it is possible that some of the compounds in artificial sweeteners have long-term effects on heart and brain health that toxicological studies conducted to greenlight the usage of these ingredients in beverages wouldn’t have picked up. FDA guidelines for the longest type of toxicity testing set the minimum at one year, and conducting these studies tends to be expensive. The study in Stroke was conducted over 10 years with subjects who were at least 45 years old. That leaves plenty of room for the symptoms of stroke and dementia to develop in a time frame not monitored by studies conducted in the sweeteners’ approval processes.

Of course, with these studies, it’s important to note that cause and effect cannot be established. The American Beverage Association (ABA) definitely made that clear in their statement blasting the study.

“Low-calorie sweeteners have been proven safe by worldwide government safety authorities as well as hundreds of scientific studies and there is nothing in this research that counters this well-established fact. The FDA, World Health Organization, European Food Safety Authority and others have extensively reviewed low-calorie sweeteners and have all reached the same conclusion – they are safe for consumption.

While we respect the mission of these organizations to help prevent conditions like stroke and dementia, the authors of this study acknowledge that their conclusions do not – and cannot – prove cause and effect. And according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), many risk factors can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing stroke and dementia including age, hypertension, diabetes and genetics. NIH does not mention zero calorie sweeteners as a risk factor.”

While the ABA doesn’t address the issue that the reviews from the FDA and other cited organizations aren’t as long-term as this study, it’s important to take note of this. Maybe studies like these will inspire the FDA to require studies over a more extensive time period to identify whether dementia or stroke can actually be caused by chronic diet soda consumption.

Until then, it’s perfectly fine to exercise caution and lay off the diet soda for a while.

Celebrity Grub Fast Food News Restaurants

Ed Sheeran’s Music Could Help Fast Food Sell More Burgers And Fries

Photo: Eva Rinaldi

Apparently the background music you hear in stores and restaurants isn’t just meant to entertain or provide an ambience to the place. It also helps generate more sales.

For restaurants, one of their optimal songs would be Ed Sheeran’s major hit “Shape of You.”

The song was identified as part of a massive research study conducted by the Swedish Retail Institute and Soundtrack Your Brand, which found that songs specially selected for different store environments and audiences increased sales by 9 percent over 2 million purchases at an unnamed American fast food joint.

In fast food restaurants alone, burger and fry sales went up by around 9 percent each, whereas dessert sales increased by a whopping 15 percent.

How does this all work? Apparently music is able to trigger feelings in our brain, which then gets associated with whatever item we’re looking at. Basically, we begin to associate music with emotions with food.

The Spotify-backed business, Soundtrack Your Brand, utilized this knowledge to source music that would express the brand of whatever shop or restaurant music is being played in. When it came to fast food, “Shape of You” was perfect to target millennial audiences looking for a “welcoming, modern, and expressive” environment.

I’m gonna experiment for myself and see if I buy more while playing that song on my Spotify next time I get fast food.

Features Health Hit-Or-Miss

Some Raw Foods Can Actually Cure Garlic Breath, So Throw Out Your Gum


There are several things in life that I try to avoid at all costs.

These things include ex-boyfriends, adulthood, responsibilities and any type offood that makes your breath smell like shit.

Yes, I’m looking at you, garlic.

I mean, let’s be real: I think we can all agree having bad breath is not cute, especially when the garlic-induced odor seeping from your mouth is strong enough to repel a small army of vampires.

To make matters even worse, garlic is like the stage-five clinger of foods.

Once you cross paths with these cursed cloves, there’s basically no amount of gum or toothpaste on the face of the planet that can rid your mouth of that lingering stench.

But before you say goodbye to your favorite garlic-filled foods, you’ll be glad to know there might be a way you can stuff your face with garlic bread and not torture the people around you with your offensive breath.

That’s right, researchers at Ohio State University finally found a cure for your unbearable garlic breath.

In the study, the researchers made participants chew three grams of softneck garlic cloves for 25 seconds. Then the subjects were given either water, an apple, lettuce, mint or green tea.

The scientists then looked at the level of volatiles responsible for the foul odor on the subjects’ breath.

Apparently, those who chewed raw mint leaves had the lowest level of volatiles. Therefore, they had the least offensive breath.

Chewing on raw apple or raw lettuce also seemed to lessen the garlic-induced volatiles by more than half, compared to drinking water.

Apple season! 🍎🍏🍎 #autumnishere #fall #apples #thebestseason

A photo posted by Patricia Villamil | D.C. (@mafaldavive) on

Consuming an apple or mint in juiced form and an apple or lettuce in heated form also seemed to result in a lower level of volatiles, but not as much as the same foods in raw form.


A photo posted by Aida Pasic (@aidapasic) on

Green tea, on the other hand, proved to be a pretty useless cure when it came to freshening the subjects’ stinky breath.

But what makes some foods better at masking this offensive odor than others?

Apparently, it all has to do with how foods interact with your gross garlic breath.

Researchers determined that raw foods contain enzymes that eradicate the odor, while the phenolic compounds found in raw and cooked foods wipe out the smelly volatiles.

So, there you have it. Thanks to science, you can now go forth and shamelessly shovel garlicky pasta into your mouth without suffering the smelly consequences.

Just make sure you keep a stash of raw mint leaves on you at all times to chew on afterward.

Written by Kaylin Pound | Elite Daily 

Photo: Nickelodeon 


Ramen Is Reportedly Becoming A More Popular Prison Currency Than Tobacco

If you’ve ever seen a prison documentary, or known someone that’s spent time in jail, it would probably be easy to discover that ramen noodles and cigarettes are two of the biggest commodities sought out by inmates.

Inmates can use these items to trade or pay for other items that they desire.

While inmates are fed three meals a day, prison commissary programs play a vital role in bringing extra food to inmates, from the outside. Each inmate has a commissary account that can have money added to it from friends, family, or private citizens. This is known as, “putting money on the books.”

However, commissary programs also open the doors to an unregulated bartering and trading system shared between inmates, that at times can cause serious rifts in the prison.

In a study published Monday, University of Arizona doctoral student, Michael Gibson-Light interviewed inmates to find out why ramen is becoming more popular than tobacco. In fact, Gibson-Light’s study revealed that packaged ramen noodles are quickly becoming more valuable than cigarettes, according to The Guardian.

The study found that a pack of noodles that costs less than $1.oo can be worth to almost $5.00 to inmates.

“A sweatshirt – worth $10.81 – can be bought for two packs of ramen,” each pack costs $0.59 in commissary, according to The Guardian.

In order to cover all bases, Gibson-Light interviewed more than 50 inmates at one facility — the inmates, nor the facility were identified, for security purposes.

The Guardian pointed out that ramen has held a solid reputation as a jail house cuisine. Specifically in the book, Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories From Behind Bars, co-authored by former Chino prison inmate, Gustavo “Goose” Alvarez.

One inmate interviewed in Gibson-Light’s study, “I’ve seen fights over ramen. People get killed over soup.”


Gibson-Light’s study highlights the lack of regulation in prison food programs. Due to lack of funding, according to the study, correctional facilities have performed cost-cutting measures to reflect positively on budgets. However, it is the inmates who are left at the mercy of the company or firm sending the food into prisons, which is unhealthy and reduced quality.

The Guardian reported that inmates were getting less food, that was equally unhealthy and the scheduled meals, “went from receiving three hot meals a day to two hot meals and one cold lunch during the week, and only two meals for the whole day on the weekend.”

“That change was part of a cost-cutting measure,” Gibson-Light said in an interview with The Guardian.

This cost-cutting measure resulted in the malnourishment of inmates, who required more calories to get through their days. Hence, the spike in the popularity of ramen noodles between inmates.

Gibson Light also said a correctional officer at the prison he was studying told him that he [correctional officer] once examined the food in the kitchen and found a box that contained “nasty looking full chickens” that was boldly marked several times with the words “not for human consumption,” according to the Guardian.

It’s disappointing that correctional facilities feel the need to take money away from the rehabilitation of inmates, when clearly the lack of normalcy in prison diets creates a whole new problem.


Splenda, Cancer And That New Study We Need To Read More Carefully

Sucralose, the artificial sweetener known as Splenda that gives many treats their sugary taste is under fire yet again. Seriously, the cancer media panic is spreading. Fox. Forbes. Charlotte Observer. Foodbeast. Now, it’s trending on Facebook.

As points out, there have been more than 100 scientific studies on sucralose safety over the past 20 years. The European Union Scientific Committee on Food (SCF), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Food Standards Australia/New Zealand (FSANZ), the Health Protection Branch of Health and Welfare Canada, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare have all declared sucralose safe.

But hell — we shouldn’t count out some wild researcher who might have found something the others may have missed, right? Well, let’s start from the top…

What is Splenda (sucralose)?

splenda defines their product as a no-calorie sweetener that can be used as part of a healthy diet to reduce calories and carbs from sugar that you consume.

It is made through a patented process that starts with sugar and converts it to a no-calorie, non-carbohydrate sweetener. The result is a very stable sweetener that tastes like sugar, but without its calories. After you eat SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener, it passes through the body without being broken down for energy, so the body does not recognize it as a carbohydrate. —


The “new” findings:


The new study feels like a science story we’ve heard before: someone found a direct link between Splenda (sucralose) and Leukemia and other cancers of the blood.

Frankly, I think there’s something intrinsically suspicious about Splenda. I feel it weird to be able to get all the sweetness I crave with no calories or carbs — Splenda at it’s core is fishy. I grew up on the adage that if it’s too good to be true, it most definitely always more than likely kind of is.

So what’s up with that study people are sourcing?

Media is currently citing a story published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. But how is this study different from the ones prior that have been shut down or gone into the infinite abyss of questioning and finger pointing conspiracy theorists who believe someone influenced the study?

If you skim the unusually worded writeup from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, they claim the study making its rounds today is different from those priors. They claim it was published “from the respected Ramazzini Institute, an independent laboratory based in Italy, which found that the chemical cause leukemia and related blood cancers in male mice.”

The Ramazzini Insitute, yet another institute my non-PHD-having-ass has never heard of, has an apparent track record of making their “relevant” research available, in partsm to the public, while being vague when it comes to explaining the logic behind their design and interpretation of data.

Forbes caught this issue back in 2003 and now it looks like the same issues arise with their most current study.


The highlights of the study need clarity

The daily sucralose intake of the animals in the study needed more definition, so Forbes contributing writer Emily Willingham asked Soffritti, an author on the study to clarify the daily intake of the animals as it is unclear in its current formatting.

According to the study’s authors:

We found a significant dose-related increased incidence of males bearing malignant tumors (p < 0.05) and a significant dose-related increased incidence (p < 0.01) of hematopoietic neoplasias in males, in particular at the dose levels of 2,000 ppm (p < 0.01) and 16,000 ppm (p < 0.01).

Here is Emily’s question/answer with the author:

EJW: When you say that you fed the animals 500 ppm, etc., is it correct that that also can be given as 500 mg/kg per animal? If not, how does that ppm value translate into per kg values?

Soffritti: You may consider approximately 60 mg/kg bw.

That means the authors used 12x the recommended daily limit for humans. So yes, too much of anything is bad. Too much water? You drown.

Splenda reduced cancer rates in some mice

Currently unhighlighted in the report is that Splenda indeed reduced cancer rates in some mice. It even resulted in lower body weight as well:

Their results show a dose-related decrease in cancerous tumors in female mice, from 67% in females exposed to no sucralose to 59.4% in female mice exposed to 16,000 ppm. At 8,000 ppm, the decrease is even steeper, down to 55.4%. The increase in males from 0 ppm to 16,000 was from 56.4% to 62.9%, but at 8,000 ppm, the rate was 53% in males, 10% lower than the zero exposure level.

The same pattern of decrease is evident for females and blood cancers–sucralose-stuffed female Swiss mice had half the cancer rate with 16,ooo ppm sucralose vs. no sucralose.

For the entire mouse population, males and females combined, cancer rates were practically identical across doses; at 0, 500, 2,000, 8,000 and 16,000, rates for the whole mouse population were 61.6%, 61.6%, 60.7%, 54.2% and 61.2%, respectively.

For the blood cancers, the pattern was similar for the whole population: 22.4%, 19.2%, 25.7%, 26%, and 29.1%, respectively, at 0, 500, 2,000, 8,000 and 16,000 ppm.

In other words, high levels of sucralose resulted in lower cancer incidence in some animals — but we’re not talking about that now, are we?


So am I gonna die, or nah?

Regardless of Soffritti et al.‘s messy conclusions and questionable highlights, discussion and further research are still needed and encouraged. Hell, Soffritti even ends their abstract with a J.J. Abrams-style conclusion, stirring the pot:

Conclusions: These findings do not support previous data that sucralose is biologically inert. More studies are necessary to show the safety of sucralose, including new and more adequate carcinogenic bioassay on rats. Considering that millions of people are likely exposed, follow-up studies are urgent.

Right or wrong, some good efforts were made on this study. I personally don’t use Splenda, primarily because the general conspiracy has seeped into my being, and generally just drink less sugar-based shit in general, real sugar or not. That said, if someone can dig further into Soffritti’s research and tell me I might be lowering cancer risk and losing weight by enjoying Splenda…then I feel like we can talk more!

Forbe’s contributor Trevor Butterworth hit it on the head in 2003 with his conclusion of Soffritti’s work:

Ramazzini’s track record of walking its talk in terms of scientific data may be abysmal; and investigations into its research methods may reveal a six-lane highway of ineptitude; but even a broken clock tells the time accurately twice a day. Careful scientists will not want to dismiss any findings out of hand completely. Which is why the fact that this cancer panic is being promoted before the publication of any data, and at an event for children, which makes it look deeply suspicious, unethical, and indeed, cynical. We’ve been here before.

Real conclusion on Splenda? We’re still looking for one.


Map Of The US Shows Us Which Pizza-less States To Avoid

You finally save enough vacation days, gas money and decide it’s about time to take that cross-country road trip. If you’re a lover of pizza, you’ll want to know which states to hit when your cruising through and which states are simply not worth your pizza-lovin’ time.

Estately did some research and created a graphic that shows the amount of pizza shops in every state in the US.


As you can see, the East Coast is where you wanna be when it comes to pizza with West Virginia taking the #1 title. Surprisingly, there are a few states we wouldn’t think would have so many pizzerias. Really? Ohio?

Nevada probably makes sense since it’s a vacation hotspot.

Our very own California is towards the bottom of that list at #41 with Hawaii in very last place. Wonder how many ham and pineapple spots are actually in the Hawaiian Islands.

Graphic: Enstately


What Happens When You Eat Pizza And Burgers For A Week


Eating two and a half times more calories than the recommended daily allowance regularly will undoubtedly lead to obesity, but it can also lead to diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

That’s what a new study conducted by a research team led by Guenther Boden and Salim Merali from Temple University revealed. The study had six healthy male participants consuming 6,000 calories’ worth of food every day for a week while laying in bed and not engaging in any sort of movement or exercise. Merali told New Scientist:

“It was a regular, American diet, composed of pizzas, hamburgers and that sort of thing.”

Within two days of their diet, all of the volunteers developed resistance to the hormone insulin. After a week, they had gained an average of seven and a half pounds.

Resistance to insulin is known to threaten the health of the kidneys, nervous system and heart, and can lead to diabetes. Francis Stephens at the University of Nottingham in the UK told New Scientist:

“By definition, they all developed diabetes.”

The team also noticed that the volunteers were urinating increasing amounts of oxidised lipid compounds as the week progressed, which is commonly seen in individuals who have oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress weakens blood sugar regulation, which alters the structure of a protein that is usually in charge of moving glucose out of the bloodstream. This results in glucose not being removed from the blood.

While other mechanisms are probably still involved, the researchers pointed at oxidative stress and a damaged glucose-transporting protein as the potential causes for type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Stephens said that the participants’ seven-pound weight gain in a week is severe. He added:

“It will probably take them several months to get rid of it.”

Written by Riley Schatzle, Next Shark 


WHOA: We’re On Netflix Longer Than We Eat, Study Says


We’re watching more Netflix than we’re eating, and we’re totally fine with it. Exstreamist reports that new data from TDGResearch shows consumers are spending more time watching Netflix than participating in other leisurely activities.

Makes sense with all that instant access to hours of entertainment. Also, the kitchen’s too far.


Measured in minutes we spend watching content on the streaming service, the chart also shows that we’re on Netflix more than we read and have sex.

Interestingly enough, two of the things we spend more time on than Netflix are activities we don’t have much control over: sleeping and working.

Wonder if they measure how often we eat while watching Netflix? Also, how long our food sits there while we search for something to watch.

With more and more platforms offering a streaming service, we’ll likely see those minutes increase as time goes by.

Chart: Exstreamist