Today’s Headlines: How Diet Soda, Sprained Ankles, and Diabetes Affect Your Health

Diet soda isn’t doing anything helpful for your diet. People who are starting to watch what they eat often figure that switching from regular soda to diet soda will help them reach their health and weight loss goals in some capacity, but new research has shown this may not be true. “…people who drank diet beverages and coffee consumed fewer calories every day than drinkers of alcohol and sugary beverages, they ate a higher proportion of their daily calories from discretionary foods.” Discretionary foods in this study were defined as foods that do not need to be present in a diet (cookies, chips, etc.). Researchers hypothesized that because diet soda drinkers think they are making a healthier choice, they counter their healthier choice with frequent unhealthy caloric splurges, reversing the effects they want and potentially damaging their health. (Time)

Sprained ankle injuries may have long-lasting effects. According to a recent study, the effects of a sprained ankle, or several, may last throughout your lifetime. “It turned out that the students with chronic ankle instability moved significantly less than the other students, taking about 2,000 fewer steps on average each day.” Continued inactivity and instability resulted in all the test subjects that had sprained ankles, leading researchers to urge that ankle sprains—and their recovery—are taken more seriously to lessen repercussions later in life. (NYT)

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be at risk of developing dementia. A new study found that blood sugar and insulin levels could be linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s. “After adjusting for various factors such as age, gender and weight, the researchers found that patients who had blood-sugar levels of 10.5% or higher were 50% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those with blood-sugar levels of 6.5% or lower.” The study advised that people with diabetes should be extra cautious and monitor and maintain their blood sugar levels by exercising and watching what they eat. (WSJ)