Sunday, 11 March 2007

My Vices

I've got a problem with the bottle...but before you start directing me to my nearest AA meeting, let me clarify - I'm addicted to Pepsi Max. I can easily pack away a 2 litre bottle of this fizzy aspartame-sweetened elixir in a day.

Dare I work out how much it costs me a year? £529 a year of phenylalanine - a bargain or what?

Seriously though, I need to nip this habit in the bud. Not only is it costing a fortune, but I find that I really cannot function without knowing that I have at least a bottle spare in the kitchen!

Aussie blogger Pepsi Max Kid set himself the challenge of weaning himself off the stuff yet he found that his focus on giving it up caused his consumption to increase.

What is it about diet colas in general which causes so many to be addicted? Dr Roberts of St Mary's hospital in Florida studied the effects of aspartame addiction. He concluding that: "Persons consuming large amounts not only may suffer aspartame disease, but also have difficulty stopping them because of violent and prolonged withdrawal reactions... the hallmark of addiction. Recovered alcoholic patients repeatedly stated that they felt worse after avoiding aspartame than alcohol, and asserted that they had traded one addiction for another."

Dr Roberts, citing recent studies asserts his conviction that aspartame: "can cause, aggravate or accelerate migraine , seizures, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and its complications, Alzheimer's disease, and even brain tumors."

Worryingly, soft drink makers Pepsi and Coke have retaliated. The New York Times reported the launch of their latest products: Diet Coke Plus and Tava. Both diet soft drinks are being produced with vitamin supplements included.

So, I have the choice ahead of me - a 'violent and prolonged withdrawl' or lupus, MS and migraine. Talk about a rock and a hard place. Me thinks I'll opt for withdrawl, but perhaps a long and drawn out one to save myself from a painful cold turkey!

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