iHeard iHeard Alert

How safe is that drink? Energy drinks and diet soda sweetener top St. Louis health news

The two health stories most heard by St. Louis adults last week both involved beverages. Almost half (45%) of respondents to a weekly survey had heard in the last 7 days that aspartame sweeteners may cause cancer; 28% had heard about new energy drinks under investigation due to possible health risks.

White St. Louisans were more likely than African Americans to have heard the news about aspartame (51% vs. 38%), which aligns with historical data showing that Whites drink more diet soda that African Americans. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in diet sodas and other products, was identified as possibly cancer-causing to humans in a recent report from the World Health Organization. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the new report does not mean aspartame is actually linked to cancer.

Men, who studies show consume more energy drinks than women, were more likely than women to have heard about possible health risks of a new energy drink (37% vs 25%). Drinks from the beverage brand PRIME contain as much caffeine as six cans of Coke. These and other energy drinks have been recalled in Canada, and will soon be under review in the U.S. Conducting product safety reviews is part of the regulatory role of public health institutions to protect the health of citizens.

This week’s report is based on 156 responses from a panel of adult residents of St. Louis City and County surveyed from Saturday, July 15, to Monday, July 17, 2023. Explore these data and more at iHeardSTL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *