Are Diet Soft Drinks Dying a Slow Death?

Posted: October 14, 2016 in Blog, Health, Nutrition

You would think that, after writing a blog post about the different ways that sugary soft drinks like pop, including diet varieties, are actually shortening your life, we would get the hint.

Many of us depend on diet pop to give us the nice hit of sweetness we’re looking for, without actually taking the hit in calories. But, as we outlined in the blog post, diet pop can be as bad for your overall health as regular varieties. From generally having more caffeine than non-diet versions, to the carcinogenic colouring that it shares with regular pop, diet soft drinks are simply not good for you.

The Curious Case of Diet Drinks on Social Media

Whether you tweet, like or follow, or you do none of them, there is no denying the impact of social media as a real-time gauge of public opinion and trends. From the elections to hurricane watches, many news stories use an ample dose of social media posts to add authenticity and to convey what people are thinking and/or doing as the story unfolds. Corporations pay buckets of cash to the likes of Goggle and Twitter to learn more about what people are saying and to spot trends about the sorts of products they are using.

A particularly curious trend was recently uncovered in a social media study conducted by Engagement Labs. Their research found that, while people continue to talk about regular soft drinks on social media, the chatter around diet versions is dwindling. Of the 18 varieties of pop included in the research, the highest rank for a diet version was ninth for Diet Coke. The diet varieties of Coca Cola and Pepsi scored at least 20% lower than their regular counterparts.

Why are Diet Drinks Doing so Badly on Social?

First of all, social media isn’t the be all and end all of consumer opinion. But its immediacy gives us insights into what is happening right now in a way that more reliable conventional surveys can’t. In a sense, if the chatter on social media is dying down, it could be a ‘canary in the coal mine’ moment for diet pop.

With that in mind, here are a few reasons why diet pop might be starting down the road of extinction.

1. Major Brands Market the Two Varieties Differently

Have you ever seen diet pop promoted with slogans like “Refresh Your World” or “Open Happiness”, which are two recent advertising slogans for regular Pepsi and Coca Cola respectively? Major brands do not use the same positive, social-media-friendly messages around their diet varieties as they do for their regular pop.

2. Questions About the Health and Weight Loss Benefits of Diet Pop

If there’s one reason why regular pop has remained a big seller even after decades of diet pop being available, it’s because the diet varieties simply don’t taste the same. We make the sacrifice in taste to get the calorie reduction and weight loss benefits that go with it. But, in addition to the health concerns we talked about in our previous posts and above, recent questions about the weight loss benefits of diet pop are undermining the basic reason why we drink it in the first place.

According to Dr. Adrienne Youdim, the Medical Director of the Centre of Weight Loss at Cedars Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, “one plausible reason is that artificial sweeteners will trigger the part of the brain that craves sugar, without providing the true sweet nutrient, and therefore they do not satisfy the cravings, leading us to consume more.”

3. The Rising Popularity of Other, Healthier Beverages

In diet pop’s heyday 20 0r 30 years ago, it didn’t have to compete with the likes of green tea, vegetable smoothies, kale juice, and the long list of other drinks that deliver weight loss benefits and a cup full of nutrition.

If you’re a diet pop drinker, don’t worry. If it’s going to disappear, it won’t be doing so too soon. But if you’re interested in learning more about other ways to help you lose weight healthily, visit or call your local Herbal One Centre today.