The Canadian Beverage Association Responds to Unpublished Research on Beverages and Depression

TORONTO, January 9, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Beverage Association is seriously concerned that anyone would promote research that by its lack of scientific verification trivializes an issue as serious as depression. This research is available in abstract only and has not been peer reviewed, presented at any scientific meeting or even published. Neither this abstract nor any body of scientific evidence supports the concept that drinking diet soft drinks or other sweetened beverages causes depression.

The researchers evaluated beverage consumption habits in older US adults (50 - 71 years of age) and after approximately 10 years followed up with participants and found that 4 per cent 'self-reported' being diagnosed with depression. What the abstract fails to identify is what, if any, subject history, environment, genetics, overall health, etc. were taken into consideration or how the depression diagnosis was made or verified.

The actual rate of depression found in the study was approximately 4 per cent which is well within - and actually below - the 8 per cent noted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CAMH) who says that "approximately 8 per cent of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives."

"Promoting any alleged findings without supporting evidence is not only premature, but irresponsible and damaging to those Canadians suffering from depression," says Jim Goetz, President, Canadian Beverage Association. "In addition, there is no credible scientific evidence linking sweetened beverage consumption to depression - of any kind."

According to the CAMH mental illness is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors.

The Canadian Beverage Association is the national trade association representing the broad spectrum of brands and companies that manufacture and distribute the majority of non-alcoholic liquid refreshment beverages consumed in Canada.