In the past six months alone, dozens of studies examining the health impact of drinking sugary beverages or diet soda have been published in medical journals. Some suggested a relationship; others did not.
Sometimes, the media coverage of these studies took the researchers by surprise.
That was the case for epidemiologist Hannah Gardener, PhD, of the University of Miami. In February, she presented early results from her ongoing research at a health conference, and was completely unprepared for the media attention it received.
The story appeared on all the major networks, in most major newspapers, and on the Internet, including WebMD.
The early findings showed a 48% increase in heart attack and stroke risk among daily diet soda drinkers, compared to people who did not drink diet sodas at all or did not drink them every day.
Most reports cautioned that the findings were preliminary and did not prove that diet sodas cause stroke.