CBA Responds To Research On Beverages And Depression

The Canadian Beverage Association (CBA) recently published a response to the research linking depression and drinking carbonated beverages. The association says the research, "…trivializes an issue as serious as depression" due to its lack of scientific verification.

The CBA goes on to say:

This research is available in abstract only and has not been peer reviewed, presented at any scientific meeting or even published.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 U.S. adults (50 to 71 years of age) and after approximately 10 years followed up with participants and found that 4 percent '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 percent which is well within - and actually below - the 8 percent noted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CAMH) who says that "approximately 8 percent of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives1."

"Promoting any alleged findings without supporting evidence is not only premature, but irresponsible and damaging to those Canadians suffering from depression," said Jim Goetz, president, Canadian Beverage Association, in a prepared statement. "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.2

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.