I am seven months pregnant and this belly makes me want to give birth any day now, it seems like too much to carry! Of course not in reality. The troubling thing is that preterm labor has become so common. While nobody can pinpoint just one reason why, here is some food for thought.
A study published last fall in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks (i.e. aspartame) may increase the risk of preterm delivery. Women who drank one artificially sweetened serving per day were 38 percent more likely to delivery early, while women who had four servings a day were 78 percent more likely to go into labor prematurely. The same was not observed for sugar sweetened soft drinks. I don’t know about you, but that looks like a huge risk to take!
Yes, the study only involved 59,334 Danish women. It isn’t conclusive either. You would think someone would at least look into this further, or at least women would be publicly advised to stay away from this stuff, right? If artificial sweeteners may be broken down in the body into chemicals that change the womb, I think it is cause enough for concern. The U.S. premature birth rate is among the highest in industrialized nations. Logically that makes no sense. We supposedly have the best care, but the evidence shows we’re a sick nation. The rate rose steadily by about 30% for three decades until it started gradually declining from 2006 to 2008 – a slight decline of .5%. Not surprising that the increase coincides with the time artificial soft drinks were introduced.
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We do not consume any soda in our house, so this doesn’t apply to me. But when I see a pregnant woman gulping down a can of this toxic stuff, I really want to tell her this. So if you’re that woman, now you know! Please be kind to your unborn baby and your body.