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Study Suggests Link Between Diet Sodas, Preterm Delivery
Date:8/24/2010

n by high blood pressure disorders in pregnancy. They note that other studies have found a link between soft drinks and high blood pressure in non-pregnant women.

The beverage industry took exception to the findings.

In a statement, Beth Hubrich of the Calorie Control Council said: "As a dietitian (and mom) I am deeply concerned that this information may unduly alarm pregnant women. The overwhelming majority of scientific literature shows that low-calorie sweeteners are safe for use in pregnancy."

The study also doesn't prove cause-and-effect, Maureen Story, senior vice president for science policy at the American Beverage Association, said in a statement. ''The authors themselves acknowledge the fact that their findings cannot demonstrate cause-and-effect," she said.

But other experts said pregnant women may want to take heed of the study results. In a statement, Shelley McGuire of the American Society of Nutrition, said the findings "may be really important in terms of preventing premature births, especially those that are medically induced by a woman's health care provider."

She suggests pregnant women focus on water, juices and milk.

And in a statement, Dr. Alan R. Fleischman, medical director of the March of Dimes, said that "pregnant women should eat smart and make sure that most of their food choices are healthy ones. Artificially sweetened drinks don't make most lists of healthy foods. As the authors point out, additional research is needed to understand the impact of these beverages on pregnancy and fetal development. Until that is clear, it is prudent for pregnant women to drink these beverages in moderation. They also should discuss with their doctors their risk of preterm birth and the signs and symptoms of preterm labor. "

More information

To learn more about preterm labor, visit the March of Dimes.


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