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Soda is Linked to Depression in New Study

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A new study by the National Institutes of Health says that soda drinkers -- especially those who sip on diet sodas -- are more susceptible to depression.

This might come as a shock to some, but having tasted an aspartame-laden Diet Coke, we can see where the extreme sadness comes from. Stuff is nasty. And considering half of all Americans reported drinking at least one glass of soda per day according to a 2012 Gallup poll, that means there are a lot of sad sacks walking around the streets of the U.S. of A.

Just one cup won't do the trick though. The National Institutes of Health study looked at subjects who consumed four or more cups per day. Of these, study says that diet soda drinkers had a 31 percent greater risk of depression than non-soda drinkers, compared to a 22 percent greater risk for those who drank regular sodas. Diet fruit punch drinkers fared even worse — a 51 percent greater risk compared to those who didn't drink the Kool Aid.

The study involved nearly 264,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71. Researchers looked at participants' consumption of a variety of different drinks — soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee — over a one-year period from 1995 to 1996. Then, 10 years later, researchers checked back to see who had been diagnosed with depression. 11,311 people said they had been. Guess that's another reason to keep sodas out of schools.

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Of course, the study warns that this is just a correlation, and not a causation, per se. There are plenty of external factors at play here. For instance, most ultra-healthy workout fiends are not chugging cans of Coke on the reg, and staying fit and active can help ward off the doldrums.

Another interesting finding of the study was that those who downed four cups of joe per day were about 10 precent less likely to develop depression than non-coffee drinkers. Score another one for the craft coffee movement -- and McDreamy for that matter.