Diet Coke gets a little healthier

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Nutrition: Health

Did you know that Diet Coke isn't the healthiest beverage choice for your kids? No? Well, surprise, surprise, it isn't. At least it wasn't. It seems that Diet Coke -- a staple in our house -- contains sodium benzoate, a preservative that prevents mold. Unfortunately, it can also damage DNA and lead to hyperactivity in children.

Coca-cola, however, has decided to stop using the chemical, also known as E211, in its drinks due to consumer demands. E211 will be gone from all Diet Coke by the end of the year and from other drinks as soon as possible. As yet, the company has not found a suitable replacement for its drinks with a higher juice content such as Fanta, Dr Pepper, and Sprite. E211 is not used in regular Coke.

Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology at Sheffield University, found that E211 can alter parts of DNA that may be linked to cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson's disease. In addition, researchers at Southampton University have linked sodium benzoate to hyperactivity in children. Whether or not these findings are accurate, they are certainly cause for concern. Our kids don't drink sodas, but if they did, this might be a good reason to put a stop to the practice.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.