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Artificial sweeteners in diet drinks linked to premature babies

Mums-to-be who drink a can of diet fizzy a day are at a higher risk of giving birth prematurely

Posted: 13 July 2010
by Kimberley Smith
Diet drinks
Ditch the diet, mums-to-be!

Mums who drink diet fizzy drinks during pregnancy may be putting their babies at risk of premature birth, says a study funded by EU.

Of the 60,000 women involved in the research, those who drank an average of one can of diet pop a day during pregnancy were 38% more likely to have a premature baby. Those who consumed more than four cans were 78% more at risk of an early birth.

Researchers have suggested it is the artificial chemical sweeteners used in these diet drinks that trigger an early birth. Professor Erik Millstone, a public health expert from the University of Sussex, said, “I would think it is prudent for pregnant women to diminish consumption of these drinks and possibly those foods containing artificial sweeteners.”

The response from the British Soft Drinks Association was one of caution, saying, “This study merits a cautious reaction.”

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