JUST two diet drinks a day raises the risk of dying young by a quarter, a major study reveals.
And lovers of Diet Coke and Pepsi Max see their chances of being killed by a heart attack or stroke rocket by more than half, compared to those who avoid the stuff.
Experts said the “important” European findings – involving more than 450,000 people – were “concerning”.
They urged Brits to ditch soft drinks and switch to water.
The World Health Organisation research found the dangers from guzzling artificially sweetened pop were up to three times greater than regular sugary drinks.
Diet drinks ‘worse’
It suggests switching to sugar-free products – such as Diet Pepsi or Lucozade Zero – could be equally bad for health, if not worse.
The study was carried out by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, which is a part of the WHO.
Lead researcher Dr Neil Murphy said: “The striking observation in our study was that we found positive associations for both sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened soft drinks with risk of all-cause deaths.
“It would probably be prudent to limit consumption of all soft drinks and replace with a healthier alternative, such as water.”