Diet drinks are often branded as the “healthier” option for consumers, but new a new study finds that actually isn’t the case. According to the American Optometric Association, there is a strong association between adults who drink diet drinks often weekly and having proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR).

PDR is described as damage to the blood vessels at the retina of the eye caused by poorly controlled blood sugar. This often leaves people with blurred vision, and can cause blindness. It’s also the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes. Studies also noted there isn’t a large link between the consumption of regular soft drinks and that the relation only seems to show in diet soft drinks that utilize the artificial low calorie sweeteners. The Optometric Association has been cracking down on artificial sweetness for a while now, and the sugar like substance is also linked to many other medical issues including tooth decay, and some forms of cancer.

But one thing is for certain, lower calorie, doesn’t always mean healthier.

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