We often banter about whether to call it soda or pop. It depends on where we are. Regardless of what we call them, the link between sugar sweetened beverages and obesity is now clear.

“Diet” drinks bring up another subject. Because they have an artificial sweetener and no calories does that translate to less weight? What does the artificial sweetener do to our human hunger biology? How does our human biochemistry process it? Is the end result disease or health? A September 2012 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that drinking diet soda daily was associated with an increased risk of bad blood vessel events. Other studies are confirming associations with neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis. Since it takes months or years for these manifestations of disordered biology to occur, the association often escapes the casual observer.

Most perceptive drink companies are getting into pure or naturally flavored waters and pure teas, realizing that most health conscious consumers they serve will not choose beverages that are harmful to their health.