Ask the doctor: Are diet drinks safe?

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Q. I've been drinking Fresca since I was in college. Lately I've been reading that diet drinks may cause weight gain and have other bad effects. Is that true?

A. There is some controversy about whether drinking diet soda helps or hurts in maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. Some studies show that people who consume artificially sweetened drinks take in fewer calories and are better able to control their weight. However, other studies show the opposite—that consuming diet drinks may result in weight gain as well as type 2 diabetes.

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