शुक्रवार, 15 दिसंबर 2017

The very real health dangers of virtual reality

Is the magical world of virtual reality arriving in your home this holiday season?
You're not alone. Statistics show that more than a million VR headsets were shipped during the third quarter of 2017. That number is expected to rise rapidly in 2018 as more manufacturers enter the market.
But before you or your children try out your shiny new VR gadgets, be sure you're fully aware of the potential health risks of this technology.

    Clear the playing field

    A quick glance at the safety warnings for the major manufacturers in this space makes it clear: Playing VR without supervision and in a crowded space is risky business.
    "While wearing the product's headset you are blind to the world around you," says the safety information page for HTC's Vive. "Do not rely on the product's chaperone system for protection."
    "I see more falling than anything else," said Marientina Gotsis, an associate professor of research at the Interactive Media and Games Division of the University of Southern California. "You can trip and hit your head or break a limb and get seriously hurt, so someone needs to watch over you when you are using VR. That's mandatory."
    That includes keeping pets, small children and other obstacles -- like ceiling fans -- out of the area. Facebook's Oculus Rift includes an infographic with the product and has an online safety center with video explanations to illustrate the safety issues.

    Keep an eye on it

    One of the major health concerns about virtual reality involves the eye.
    "There are a variety of potential issues," said University of California, Berkeley optometry Professor Martin Banks, who studies visual perception in virtual environments. "One is how we affect the growth of the eye, which can lead to myopia or nearsightedness."
    Myopia is a growing problem around the world. In the United States, studies show, nearsightedness rose from only 25% of the population in the 1970s to over 40% by 2000. About10 million American adults are considered "severely nearsighted."
    "Looking at tablets, phones and the like, there's pretty good evidence that doing near work can cause lengthening of the eye and increase risk for myopia," Banks said. "We're all worried that virtual reality might make things worse."

    Add 'motion sickness'

    A good many people who use virtual reality complain of eye strain, headaches and, in some cases, nausea. Experts say that's due to the way VR affects the eye-brain connection.
    In real life, our eyes naturally converge and focus on a point in space, and our brain is so used to this that it's coupled the two responses together. Virtual reality separates those, confusing the brain.
    Virtual reality can confuse the eye-brain connection.
    "In a virtual environment, the way we look and interact is changed because we may be projecting onto the eyes something that looks far away, but in reality, it's only a few centimeters from the eye," said Walter Greenleaf, a behavioral neuroscientist who has studied VR in medical settings for over 30 years.
    Science calls that the "vergence-accommodation conflict" and isn't quite sure how serious it might be. "We're tricking the brain," said Greenleaf, who works with Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, "and we don't know the long-term effect of this."
    Most of us look at cell phones and tablets for a short time before looking up, which minimizes their negative effect on the eye. But with VR, it's all too easy to become immersed in that out-of-body experience.
    How long is too long to use virtual reality in one sitting? Manufacturers like Oculus suggest a "10 to 15 minute break every 30 minutes, even if you don't think you need it." But Gotsis says that's not based on much science.
    Little research has been done on the effects of VR on children.
    "Most of what is on the market right now has little research behind it," she says. "Cumulative exposure without us really knowing what is going on is an issue."
    Gotsis says the quality of the virtual reality game also plays a role in how we react.
    "A lot of content is not well-made, with a lot of flickering things and objects that come at you too fast or too close, and that can produce eye strain," she said She insists that any eyestrain be considered a signal to cease playing.
    "Damage from eye strain can sometimes be very sudden, so if something is uncomfortable, just stop, take it off and stop looking at it," Gotsis warned. "Don't feel trapped and mesmerized in the content. Just stop."

    Pre-existing conditions

    It's not just the eyes that might be harmed. "Listening to sound at high volumes can cause irreparable damage to your hearing," states Oculus Rift.
    "Over time, increasingly loud audio may start to sound normal but can actually be damaging your hearing," Sony's PlayStation adds, suggesting that a user lower the volume if they can't hear people speaking around them while they're playing.
    Most devices also include a warning to see a doctor before use if you are "pregnant, elderly, or have pre-existing conditions that may affect your virtual reality experience such as vision abnormalities, psychiatric disorders, heart conditions, or other serious medical conditions."
    That warning includes implanted medical devices, such as cardiac pacemakers, hearing aids and defibrillators, as well as anyone with epilepsy or a history of seizures and blackouts. But manufacturers say some people can seize even without a history of blackouts, especially those younger than 20, so manufacturers suggest keeping an eye out for involuntary muscle twitches and loss of balance as a signal of a potential problem.
    Daydream also suggests avoiding play entirely if you're "intoxicated, overly tired, or are suffering from a cold, headache, upset stomach, or other sickness" because the experience of virtual reality might make you feel worse.
    And if that's not enough, Daydream View warns that sharing the device could spread contagious diseases and infections and even cause skin irritation.

    Children at most risk

    Gotsis believes that families with younger children should be especially cautious with virtual reality, even if they purchased the game for teens or young adults.
    "It's almost impossible to hold up something shiny in front of a young child and then say 'no, you can't have this,' " she said. "So parents have to tell the older child that part of your responsibility is to take care of their younger siblings, to help them understand they shouldn't use it."
    If they do try it, Gotsis adds, the younger the child, the shorter the exposure should be.
    "Children may not know how to communicate discomfort of any sort, such as visual discomfort or motion sickness, so you don't want prolonged exposure on screen," she said.
    Jeremy Bailenson, director of Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, uses VR himself and on subjects in his lab daily. Yet he has let his 6-year-old daughter use it only four times in her life, each time for a duration of only five minutes.
    "We read a lot of new studies in our work," he said, "but what we are seeing is a ton of studies on medical applications and not many with young kids, and not really any with really young kids."
    Berkeley's Banks agrees. "The research has been done primarily in young adults ... so we don't really know what is going to happen to a young child."
    Most major manufacturers have set a cutoff age: no use of the device for children under the age of 13. Playstation VR set the age limit at 12; HTC's Vivedoesn't mention an age, only that it is not "designed to be used by children."
    Google Cardboard has no age restriction but says it should not be used without adult supervision.
    Stanford's Greenleaf believes that until research catches up, parents, "and in fact everyone, should be very judicious" about use.
    "I would be concerned for everyone who uses this," he said. "You don't have to have a young brain to have an impact."

    Content is key

    Virtual reality content can also affect your perception of reality.
    "VR can be stored in the brain's memory center in ways that are strikingly similar to real-world physical experiences," said Stanford's Bailenson, author of the forthcoming book "Experience on Demand," about his two decades of research on the psychological effects of virtual reality. "When VR is done well, the brain believes it is real."
    That's great if the content is fun, educational or inspirational. For example, research shows that adults can be taught to recycle, increase their physical activity or become more empathetic to those of different races if they see themselves doing so virtually.
    What happens if the VR content is scary or violent?
    But what if the content is scary or combative? Some of today's popular VR games allow you to fight off bloody zombies, get a "virtual tour of hell," battle "endless waves of combatants" and kill as many as you can in "survival horror." In one game, you can even shoot yourself in the head.
    The health and safety page for Google's Daydream View says it straight out:
    "If the content is frightening, violent, or anxiety provoking, it can cause your body to react physically, including increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. It can also, in some individuals, cause psychological reactions, including anxiety, fear, or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."
    Studies show that adolescents can react badly to being socially excluded in virtual environments.
    "If you were to do this in the real world, how would it affect you? That's the way to think about virtual reality," Bailenson said, adding that research shows becoming someone else in VR produces greater changes in real-life attitudes and behavior than watching video or doing role playing.
    "So don't think of VR as a 'media experience,' because the brain sees it as similar to an actual experience," he said. "If it's an activity that you're ethically not comfortable with in real life, don't do it. If you think of it that way, the guidelines on what you want to do in VR become very clear."

    Content and kids

    It should come as no surprise that studies show children may be even more susceptible to confusing virtual reality with the real thing, with the youngest at most risk. In a 2009 study, young elementary children watched their virtual doppelgänger swimming with orcas. When these kids were questioned a week later, they said they believed their virtual experience to be real.
    In a recent study by Jakki Bailey of the University of Texas, funded by the nonprofit Sesame Workshop, 55 children between the ages of 4 and 6 played the game Simon Says with the furry blue monster Grover, a popular character. Half of the children played in virtual reality; the other half played with Grover's character on a TV. The games lasted five minutes.
    The good news, says Bailenson, is that none of the children in the VR experience became dizzy or had unpleasant physical reactions to their short exposure.
    "But the children who saw Grover in VR saw him as more real," he said. "Grover was more influential in immersive VR than on TV, and it was harder for the children to inhibit their actions and not do what Grover did."
    It's not just little ones that might internalize a VR scenario. Older adolescents were also found to be painfully sensitive to being socially excluded in a virtual environment.
    This means parents need to be careful about the type of VR content they allow their children to view, experts say.
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    "A spider can be a fun spider or a scary spider. I don't know what it's like until I actually try it," Gotsis said. "So I find that nothing will replace the parent doing the experience themselves and saying 'OK, this is fine for my child.' And then do it with them. Walk them through it. There's a huge difference between experiencing something alone or with others."
    And as long as parents do their job, Bailenson believes, future research will show that virtual reality can be enjoyed by children without harm.
    "I'm not worried about kids using VR. I'm worried about kids using any media uncontrolled," he said. "Parents need to be careful, active and participating, because the VR medium is more powerful than traditional media. But with proper adult supervision, using it infrequently, I think it's going to turn out to be just fine."


    Baby survives after being born with heart outside her body

    A baby born with her heart outside her body has survived surgery to insert it back into her chest.

    Vanellope Hope Wilkins, now three weeks old, was delivered by a team of 50 medical professionals at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, UK, on November 22.
    Born with ectopia cordis, a rare congenital condition causing her heart to grow outside her body, the baby girl underwent three intensive surgeries to put her heart inside her chest. She is now on the road to recovery.
    "I had prepared myself for the worst; that was my way of dealing with it. I had brought an outfit to hospital that she could wear if she died," said Naomi Findlay, Vanellope's mother, in a statement on Tuesday. "I genuinely didn't think my baby would survive, but the staff at Glenfield have been amazing."
      "I deal with babies with heart problems all the time, some of them very complicated," said Dr. Frances Bu'Lock, consultant in pediatric cardiology at Glenfield Hospital.
      "This is only the second case in 30 years that I've seen this particular condition, it's extremely rare," she said. "Vanellope is the first baby to survive this operation in the UK."
      Odds stacked against them
      An initial ultrasound scan at nine weeks had alerted Vanellope's parents, Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, that their baby's heart and part of her stomach had begun to grow outside of her body.
      Bu'Lock did Naomi's ultrasound at 16 weeks, and found that while Vanellope's bowel had moved back to the correct position, her heart was still out of place.

      Three-week-old Vanellope Hope Wilkins, with her parents Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.
      A blood test confirmed that the risk of other chromosomal abnormalities was low, at which point Naomi and Dean chose to fight for their daughter's life.
      Bu'Lock did not expect the baby to survive, she said. "There were so many difficulties -- she might have other body organ problems. The chances against her surviving at that stage was huge."
      In most cases, the malformation is detected in the womb and the pregnancy is terminated or results in a stillbirth. A successful delivery also brings a very high risk of infection or associated defects, according to the hospital.
      Naomi and Dean received counseling throughout the process.

      Surgeons deliver miracle

      Four teams of doctors at Glenfield -- which is part of the UK's National Health Service (NHS) -- were scheduled to deliver the baby on November 22 by caesarean section to reduce the risk of infection as well as the risk of injuring the infant heart.
      After birth, Vanellope was placed in a sterile plastic bag to reduce infection risk to her heart and keep exposed tissues moist.
      "Vanellope was born in good condition. She cried at birth and coped well with the early stabilization and her heart continued to beat effectively," said Glenfield Consultant Neonatologist Jonathan Cusack.
      ""At around 50 minutes of age, it was felt that Vanellope was stable enough to be transferred back to the main theater where she had been born to the waiting anesthetists, congenital heart disease and pediatric surgical teams who began the task of putting her entire heart back inside her chest," he said.
      While the defect in Vanellope's chest was small, the surgeons were concerned about repositioning the heart correctly to ensure it was properly attached to the veins and arteries.
      "Now she's out, she's had three surgeries and her heart is covered -- I think her chances are a lot better," said Bu'Lock, who called the surgery "challenging (rather) than complicated."
      "Cases of ectopia cordis are extremely rare but Vanellope's situation is even more unusual," said Dr. Martin Ward-Platt of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who was not involved in the procedure. "Usually babies like Vanellope are born with a number of other complications of the heart or other organs, but from the media reports it seems this could be the only abnormality -- which makes it even more rare."

      Heart out of place

      Ectopia cordis, literally translating to "out-of-place heart," is a heart abnormality that develops during the early stages of development in the womb.
      The condition causes the heart to form either partially or wholly outside the chest cavity, generally on the neck, chest, abdomen or cervix.
      It is generally accompanied by congenital heart disease and other associated defects, leaving those affected by it with a very low chance of survival.
      The condition is estimated to affect just under eight babies per million live births, according to the hospital, with less than a 10% chance of survival.
      "To put this in context, we wouldn't expect a case like this to happen in the UK more often than once every five to 10 years," said Ward-Platt.
      New father Dean Wilkins said in a statement: "The moment she was born I realized that we had made the right decision. People always knock the NHS, but all we have seen from the team at Glenfield is kindness and a desire to keep Naomi and Vanellope safe and I can't begin to thank them for what they have done for my girls."

      A record-tying eighth planet has been found in a faraway solar system, matching our own in number.

      A record-tying eighth planet has been found in a faraway solar system, matching our own in number.

      Even more amazing, machines and not humans made the discovery. NASA joined with Google on Thursday to announce the finding.
      This eighth planet orbits the star known as Kepler-90. Like Earth, this new planet, Kepler-90i, is the third rock from its sun. But it's much closer to its sun — orbiting in just 14 days — and therefore a scorching 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 Celsius) at the surface. In fact, all eight planets are scrunched up around this star, orbiting closer than Earth does to our sun.
      This is the only eight-planet solar system found like ours — so far — tying for the most planets observed around a single star.
      Our solar system had nine planets until Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union, a decision that still stands. Some astronomers, however, suspect there could be a large ninth planet out there: an elusive Planet X the size of Neptune but much farther out.
      The Kepler-90 system also could have a ninth planet or more, according to the researchers. It is 2,545 light-years away; a light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.
      Google used data collected by NASA's keen planet hunter, the Kepler Space Telescope, to develop the machine-learning computer program. It focuses on weak planetary signals — so feeble and numerous it would take humans ages to examine.
      While machine learning has been used before in the search for exoplanets — planets beyond our solar system — it's believed to be the first time an artificial neural network like this has been used to find a new world.
      "This is a really exciting discovery, and we consider it to be a successful proof of concept to be using neural networks to identify planets, even in challenging situations where the signals are very weak," said Christopher Shallue, a senior software engineer at Google in Mountain View, California.
      NASA astrophysicist Jessie Dotson, the Kepler project scientist, is "so excited to see where this goes next."
      "Who knows what potential insights might be gained," she said.
      Shallue teamed up with astronomer Andrew Vanderburg of the University of Texas at Austin to develop the program. They essentially trained a computer to identify exoplanets based on Kepler's observations in changing stellar brightness — the subtle, fleeting dip in a star's brightness when a planet passes in front of it.
      The two used a technique similar to what had been previously used by others to enable machines to distinguish between pictures of cats and dogs.
      Besides identifying Kepler-90i, the machine-learning program also confirmed an exoplanet missed by astronomers in yet another solar system: Kepler-80g, the sixth planet in that particular solar system.
      Shallue and Vanderburg plan to keep up the hunt, using the program to scour the 150,000-plus stars observed by Kepler.
      In all, more than 3,560 exoplanets have been confirmed to date — two-thirds of them spotted by the 2009-launched Kepler — with another approximately 4,500 candidates awaiting verification.

      It will be up to more advanced telescopes, like the James Webb Space Telescope targeted for launch in 2019, to study the atmospheres of these distant worlds and sniff out any traces of possible life, Vanderburg noted.
      Shallue said Google plans to release all the code needed for someone to join the exoplanet search, using a basic home computer and the publicly available Kepler data. No specialized hardware should be needed, he said.
      Neither NASA nor Google expect to put astronomers out of business.
      Shallue sees this as a tool to help astronomers have more impact and increase their productivity.
      "It certainly will not replace them at all," he assured reporters.
      The Associated Press
      This illustration made available by NASA shows a comparison of the planets in the solar system and those orbiting the star Kepler-90. An eighth planet, Kepler-90i, has been found in the faraway solar system, matching our own in numbers. This is the only eight-planet solar system found like ours _ so far. (Wendy Stenzel/NASA, Ames Research Center via AP) The Associated Press

      NASA: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/

      गुरुवार, 14 दिसंबर 2017

      A 12 Diet Cokes-a-day habit like Trump's is worth changing(HINDI )

      क्या हैं निहितार्थ डोनाल्ड ट्रम्प के दिन भर में एक दर्जन डाइट कोक हलक के नीचे नित्य उतार लेने के ?आखिर यह एक पानी और अल्कोहल के अल्पांश से तैयार एक दवा ही है जो हमारी  जीवन शैली में जगह बना चुकी है। ऊपर से तुर्रा ये के इसे डाइट कोक कहा जाता है। जैसे कोई सेहत के लिए यह अमृत की धार हो अमरत्व  )की और ले जाने वाला एलिक्सिर हो रसधार हो सुधारस हो ।  

      आइये देखें क्या कहते हैं रिसर्चर इस बाबत :

      माहिरों के अनुसार यह आपकी मीठी चीज़ों ,मिठाई की भूख बढ़ा  सकती है ललक और बे -चैनी भी। 

      और  इसकी वजह इसमें मौजूद कृत्रिम मिठास एसपारटेम ही बनती है। इसे लेने के आधा घंटे के बाद ही आपका शरीर तंत्र ऐसे प्रतिक्रिया करने लगता है जैसे इतनी ही सांद्रता या कंसंट्रेशन ग्लूकोस और इन्सुलिन की मांग रहा हो। अब चाहे आपने रेगुलर सोडा लिया हो या डाइट सोडा इससे कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ता। (यहां सोडा का अर्थ उस चीज़ से नहीं है जिसका इस्तेमाल भारत में अक्सर अल्कोहल के साथ किया जाता है। यह खारा सोडा नहीं है मीठा एरेटेड (सोडा )स्वीटेंड वाटर है। 

      डाइट कोक में मौजूद एसपारटेम हमारे शरीर तंत्र को मुंह चिढ़ाता है। आहिस्ता आहिस्ता एक दिन आपका शरीर भांप जाता है यह मिठास का स्वाद एक बवाल है कोई अच्छा बॉडी सिग्नल नहीं है.असली समस्या तब पैदा होती है जब आप इस कृत्रिम मिठास के अलावा असली शुगर इस्तेमाल करते हैं। जानते हैं तब क्या होता है डाइट कोक अधिक लेने वालों के साथ आपका ब्लड शुगर सामान्य से कुछ ज्यादा ही बढ़ जाता है शक्कर के इस्तेमाल के बाद जो आमतौर पर इतना नहीं बढ़ता है डाइट कोक न लेने वालों में ,इतनी ही शक्कर के सेवन के बाद। ऐसे में आप जितनी ज़रुरत रहती है उससे ज्यादा खा पी जाते हैं। आगे चलकर इसके बुरे प्रभाव सामने आते हैं। 

      और इसी के साथ जीवन शैली रोग सेकेंडरी डायबिटीज ,हाइपरटेंशन ,स्ट्रोक ,डेमेंटिया (डेमेंशिया )के खतरे का वजन आपके लिए बढ़ जाता है। डाइट कोक के अभ्यस्त लोगों के लिए यह खतरा अन्यों की वनिस्पत बढ़ता है। अन्य जो इस लत से परे हैं। 

      केवल एक कैन का सेवन नित्य करने वालों के लिए ही ऐसा  खतरा खून के थक्के से पैदा होने वाले स्ट्रोक की चपेट में आने का तीन गुना ज्यादा हो जाता है। इतना ही खतरे का वजन डेमेंटिया के लिए भी हो जाता है। (स्रोत: एक अध्ययन बोस्टन यूनिवर्सिटी स्कूल ऑफ़ मेडिसिन ). 

      दीर्घावधि में आपकी वैस्ट लाइन (कमर का नाप )भी बढ़ जाती  है -यदि आप  पैंसठ साला या इससे ऊपर आयु के हैं।पेट में ज्यादा चर्बी से पैदा मोटापा एब्डोमिनल ओबेसिटी का खतरा भी बढ़ता है और इसी के साथ दिल की बीमारी का भी।

      मुक्तावली  की आब जाती रहती है,दन्तावली का एनामल उतर ने लगता है।आपकी मुस्कान में वो बात नहीं रह जाती है अब। तेज़ाब रहते हैं डाइट सोडा में जो दन्तावली का अपरदन (erosion )करते हैं।

      एक और अध्ययन के अनुसार जो महिलायें प्रति सप्ताह २० औंस से ज्यादा (दो कैन से कम )सोडा इस्तेमाल कर लेती हैं उनके लिए जीवन शैली रोग टाइप्ट टू डायबिटीज का खतरा बढ़ जाता है। (स्रोत :अमरीकन जर्नल आफ क्लीनिकल नुट्रिशन ). 
      सोडा और अन्य स्रोतों से कुलमिलाकर  निर्धारित सुरक्षित समझी जाने वाली मात्रा से ज्यादा कैफीन लेने वालों के लिए अनिद्रा रोग ,नर्वसनेस ,चिड़चिड़ाहट और एब्नॉर्मल  हार्ट रेट के खतरे का वजन भी बढ़ सकता है।

      ट्रम्प साहब को भी माहिरों की यही सलाह है वह डाइट कोक कम करे ,सादा पानी भी पीयें ,फलों के टुकड़े  डाल  ले पानी में।स्मूथी किस दिन काम आएगी।

      मूल आलेख अंग्रेजी में भी दिया जा रहा है :   

      Additionally, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found an increased risk of type 2 diabetes among women who drank more than 20 ounces -- less than two cans -- of artificially sweetened beverages each week.      

       President Donald Trump downs a dozen Diet Cokes each day, The New York Times reported this weekend. His love of the bubbly beverage is shared by many Americans and at least one of his predecessors. President Bill Clinton was frequently photographed with a can in his hand and reportedly placed a Diet Coke -- along with a now-outdated cell phone and other items -- in a time capsule at his official presidential library.

      So, what happens to those who drink a dozen cans daily of the caramel-colored elixir, which contains a blend of the sweetener aspartame and artificial and natural flavors, among other ingredients?

      Some research suggests that artificially sweetened drinks can increase one's appetite and the desire for sweets. This effect was linked to aspartame, the most frequently used sweetener in diet beverages, which generates a similar response in the body as sugar. Just 30 minutes after drinking either a diet soda containing aspartame or the same amount of regular soda (with sucrose), the body reacts with similar concentrations of glucose and insulin.
        From a scientific perspective, this finding is suggestive but "not very strong," said Susan Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences at the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences.
        She sees aspartame's effects as "teasing" the body.
        "You get this very sweet taste; your body says 'I'm about to get sugar; I'm about to get energy,' but those never arrive," Swithers said, based on her research of diet soda consumption in animals. The result is, your body learns sweet taste is no longer a good signal, so instead of producing normal responses immediately, it delays. This becomes problematic when you eat actual sugar, because your blood sugar rises a little higher than it normally would, and as a result, you may eat more than usual, she explained.
        "It's kind of a small thing that happens," she said, but over time, the cumulative effects might be strong, particularly in humans.
        Looking at long-term studies in humansSwithers noted, the results indicate that people who report drinking artificially sweetened beverages end up at higher risk than non-diet soda drinkers for lots of negative outcomes, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke, as well as dementia.
        Boston University School of Medicine study from this year found that people who reported drinking at least one can of an artificially sweetened soft drink each day were almost three times as likely to have a stroke caused by a blood clot, compared with those who avoided these diet beverages.
        One-a-day diet soda drinkers were nearly three times as likely as those who never drink diet soda to be diagnosed with dementia, as well, the researchers found.
        Another recent study looked at the relationship between drinking diet soda and long-term waist circumference change among people 65 and older. The University of Texas Health Science Center researchers found that drinking diet soda was associated with escalating abdominal obesity, which in turn leads to an increased risk of heart disease.
        Smiles may also become less attractive for those who drink too much diet soda. One study found that both the regular and diet versions of cola beverages caused the same amount of tooth enamel dissolution, which leads to enamel erosion. "Diet sodas contain acids, which could contribute to tooth erosion," said Lisa Drayer, a nutritionist and contributor to CNN.
        Additionally, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found an increased risk of type 2 diabetes among women who drank more than 20 ounces -- less than two cans -- of artificially sweetened beverages each week.
        Meanwhile, 12 cans of Diet Cola a day is two cans above what the Mayo Clinic describes as a "safe amount" of daily caffeine for adults. Too much caffeinecan lead to insomnia, nervousness, irritability and even an abnormal heart rhythm.
        "I still think it's a better choice than sugary sodas," Drayer said. "If he drank regular soda, he would be adding an additional 1,680 calories and a whopping 468 grams of sugar just from this beverage alone!"

        One 12-ounce can of regular Coke has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar. In comparison, Diet Coke, which was unveiled by the Coca-Cola Company in 1982, has zero calories and zero grams of sugar.
        "If he can't cut out his soft drinks entirely, I would recommend that he replace at least half of his diet sodas with water," Drayer suggested. "And if plain water seems boring, he can always add fruit slices to water or opt for seltzer."
        (2  )http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/11/health/diet-coke-trump-health-
        (3  )
        Drinking two sweetened drinks per day? You could be doubling your risk of diabetes