back to article Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Further proof - were it necessary - that strong unsweetened coffee is the only correct workplace beverage and that sickly imitation pop is the devil's own satanic brew has emerged this week. Boffins in the States have confirmed that sweetened and "diet" drinks are associated with a significantly heightened risk of mental illness …

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  1. John Latham

    Correlation != causation

    That's all.

    1. FartingHippo
      Megaphone

      Re: Correlation != causation

      Indeed. I also note the research was suspiciously paid for by Kenco.

      Ok, I made that last bit up.

    2. Psyx
      Thumb Up

      Re: Correlation != causation

      Yup.

      "People who drank more than four cans or cups per day of soda " ... [tend to be lower on the socio-economic totem pole, so are indeed more likely to get depressed]

      Not to mention the startlingly obvious point that people who drink diet drinks are already much more likely to be in the "I'm not happy with how I look" camp than those who drink full-fat.

    3. Jamie Kitson

      Re: Correlation != causation

      Yeah, they're most likely depressed because they're fat and are forced into drinking drinks that taste crap by society.

      1. Psyx
        Stop

        Re: Correlation != causation

        "forced into drinking drinks that taste crap by society."

        Pressured into losing weight by society...maybe. But I'm not seeing how anyone is 'forced' to pay 50p for a tin full of fizzy aspartine when they have perfectly good (free) drinking water available.

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: Correlation != causation

          "when they have perfectly good (free) drinking water available."

          I'm going to go out on a limb and say you don't live in an American city. The water here, in SoCal at least, is neither free nor perfectly good as there are times when I open the raw tap and the aroma immediately reminds me of the hyper-chlorinated pool I learned to swim in as a child. Needless to say the water that goes into my coffee maker is thrice filtered with the last stage being reverse osmosis. Before the city we had nearly perfect water with tds of 50 ppm and a pH of 6.6 coming from 630 ft below ground.

          1. Psyx
            Pint

            Re: Correlation != causation

            "I'm going to go out on a limb and say you don't live in an American city."

            Was it stating a drink price in pence that was the give-away?!

            In any case, [bottled] water > diet drinks. There really is no good reason to pour over a litre of fizzy chemical crap into your system every day*.

            *Including lager.

            1. Martin Budden Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Correlation != causation @ Psyx

              Of course there's no reason to pollute your system with lager!

              Real ale, on the other hand...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Correlation != causation

              Hmmmmmm, speaking of correlation != causation, it's interesting to note that you're not prepared to spend £0.50 on a prepared drink and then complain about "chemical crap".

              Maybe (just a thought) if you pushed the boat out occasionally and spent just a bit more on what you eat / drink, you wouldn't have so many chemicals to worry about?

              1. Psyx
                Facepalm

                Wrong conclusion. Misunderstanding of observed evidence.

                "Hmmmmmm, speaking of correlation != causation, it's interesting to note that you're not prepared to spend £0.50 on a prepared drink and then complain about "chemical crap". Maybe (just a thought) if you pushed the boat out occasionally and spent just a bit more on what you eat / drink, you wouldn't have so many chemicals to worry about?"

                I'm quoting 50p for a can of drink not because I buy cheap fizzy drinks, but because I have absolutely NO IDEA how much stuff like that costs. (And if tins of Coke are more that 50p each, then that's over £15 quid a week for a four-a-day habit!)

                From that you could conclude that either I'm far to wealthy to shop for myself, or that I never buy any form of pre-packaged soft drink.* So you lecture about diet is very much misplaced.

                *Except an occasional emergency Purdeys, for when I have a hangover. Is that reassuringly expensive enough for you?

    4. IronSteve

      Re: Correlation != causation

      Spot on sir, and should be completely obvious to anyone with half a brain. So why do we keep getting these f**cking poxy reports

      1. mike2R
        Pint

        Re: Correlation != causation

        I didn't get the impression that the author of this article was taking it entirely seriously...

    5. Sampler
      Holmes

      Re: Correlation != causation

      Exactly what I came in to post, also, it may be the other way around, those heading towards depression might be looking for the sweet sugar rush given by cans of pop?

      (can I have my PHD now please?)

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Correlation != causation

        'cept the problem is not with sugar, its with Aspartame. about which there is considerable debate.

        indeed depression is pretty low on the list of claimed issues:

        multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, methanol toxicity, blindness, spasms, shooting pains, seizures, headaches, depression, anxiety, memory loss, birth defects and death.

        persny i'd rather suck shit through an oily rag than drink any of this crap, so i aint that worried.

    6. Eric Olson
      FAIL

      Re: Correlation != causation

      Unless you read the study and went through the data and mathematics, you can't assume all Dr. Chen did was make a pretty graph with depression on one axis and drink preference on the other, slapped on a regression line, and called it a day.

      More likely, this variable was isolated using a variety of statistical tools that approximate making all other things equal and took into account the other known risk factors for depression.

      Of course, it's possible he did just make the graph, since I haven't read the full text either. But the fact that it's being presented at the annual AAN conference likely means that it's not designed the same way that someone competing in a high school science fair would have done.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Correlation != causation

        "you can't assume all Dr. Chen did was make a pretty graph with depression on one axis and drink preference on the other"

        No. But I know the one that sadly seems to win out a lot. It takes a lot to show the work has been done over just making it up. Lots of the stuff we follow today is from some one pretending to be a scientist, getting the media/political/economic backing and running with it. Turn the TV on for half of these "scientific" examples. :(

    7. Euripides Pants

      Re: Correlation != causation

      Drink four cans of diet soda a day for a month and see how you feel...

    8. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Correlation != causation

      Well said John, until you have a proven mechanism all you have is an observation.

  2. Ole Juul

    Dyslexic analysis disorder

    So, people who are depressed like to drink sweetened and "diet" drinks. How did they turn that around and make the "association" into a "risk"?

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Dyslexic analysis disorder

      The same way everyone else does when reporting statistical findings.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Dyslexic analysis disorder

        The BBC article actually quoted one of the scientists who participated in making the study as specifically saying they have found a "link, not cause and effect connection".

        1. DJ Smiley
          Facepalm

          Re: Dyslexic analysis disorder

          As someone with depression, I can understand the link quite easily.

          Its rather more effort to make coffee than reach down and open up another can of that lovely sweet cola I have sitting beside me.

      2. kissingthecarpet
        Stop

        Re: Dyslexic analysis disorder

        Also, in the mind of most journos(& everyone else) "statistics == data" is true, i.e. a statement like "8 out of 10 owners etc." is a pieces of statistical analysis as far as most are concerned.

        Correlation, significance, probability, regression etc. are all completely meaningless to all journalists it would seem. The only stats measure ever used is the arithmetic mean, even when a median value would be far more informative(salaries for eg) and anything that indicates spread like standard deviation etc is never, ever mentioned on pain of death( apparently).

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Dyslexic analysis disorder

      As the famous super computer AI, Watson, would say:

      "It's all bullshit".

    3. Fibbles

      Re: Dyslexic analysis disorder

      This is a piece by Lewis Page. As a result the article does not have to accurately reflect the paper that it is based on.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Dyslexic analysis disorder-lewis page??

        wheres the foaming-at-the-mouth anti CC angle?

    4. stuff and nonesense

      Re: Dyslexic analysis disorder

      Diet soda uses aspartame as the sweetener.

      Aspartame is a source of phenylananine (sp), an amino acid that has been suspect in mental disorders for the past 3 decades (at least).

      It inhibits seratonin production/retention in the brain. Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that is present when we feel happy.

      A number of anti-depressants on the market work by "inhibiting the absorbtion" of seratonin.

      Drinking diet soda isn't a good idea if you are on anti depressants.

      Also in the report, It seems that if you have depressive tendencies diet drinks can make the depression worse but if you are not affected by such problems diet drinks have little/no effect.

      1. Shufflemoomin
        Thumb Down

        Re: Dyslexic analysis disorder

        Do you see the word 'suspect' in your statement, followed up at the rear by lack of evidence?

  3. Thomas 4

    So...

    Why doesn't El Reg have a coffee icon yet?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: So...

      >Why doesn't El Reg have a coffee icon yet?

      They do: What do think this brown stuff on the keyboard is? : D

    2. bitten

      Re: So...

      I want a Sweet Pop icon, Madness the final frontier ...

      1. Thomas 4

        Re: So...

        My god, it all makes sense now. Cthulhu is the CEO of Coca-cola.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So...

          No, Cthulhu is the CEO of Monsanto.

          1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

            Re: So...

            Isn't Cthulhu a Monsanto product?

    3. LateNightLarry
      Paris Hilton

      Re: So...

      Why doesn't El Reg have a WINE GLASS icon yet? I've been asking for one for over a year...

      Paris, because she's from California and would rather have fizzy wine, aka Champagne (except France says we can't call it that).

  4. Roger Greenwood
    Pint

    If only . . .

    . . . managers could be persuaded to make coffee so essential in the workplace it was supplied free and compulsory.

    Then we could tax it.

    Pint of cappucino please.

    1. NorthernCoder
      Pint

      Re: If only . . .

      I suggest moving to Sweden.

      I can't recall a single workplace I have worked at here which didn't have free coffee for the employees.

      As a bootnote, when I was in Crete, I saw that the restaurant menus on the sidewalks usually had four languages; Greek, English, German and one of the Scandinavian ones. I noted one of these menu boards proclaiming in the first three languages that they served espresso for so and so many €. In Swedish (on this particular board) it was translated as "svart kaffe" ("black coffee").

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NorthernCoder

        Here in the UK, due to money saving needs, they removed all the free coffee machines about a year after installing them. Then they removed the water coolers for taps. I think the last set of workers must did their own wells...

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: If only . . .

      You need to find a better boss, we have 6 of these babies dotted around the office.

      1. Steve Foster
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: If only . . .

        Holy crap, £7k for a coffee machine?

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: If only . . .

          It's only £7k without the warranty - which is essential - so add another £2k to each one. We broke two of the machines within a month of moving here, simply by, as the engineer put it 'making too much coffee'. We didn't pay that much anyway, I think around £6k with warranty.

          Before we had the machines, in our old offices, we had tubs of Nescafe, which no-one drank, and loads of people popping out each hour to get their fix. £36k over 3 years in capex, but it keeps employees in the office and working.

          There should be some sort of coffee icon..

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: If only . . .

            Only £36k over 3 years to dose your staff up with a performance enhancing drug - sounds like a bargain.

            Ask Lance Armstrong

    3. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: If only . . .

      We get coffee free (and tea etc) just vending machines but it's still fresh ground (they are just loaded with whole beans.

      If only the milk in the machines was any good, bleh!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If only . . .

      You work in IT and don't get free coffee at your workplace!!!????!??!!?? I mean sure, stuff from the coffee shop is better, but you need something to fall back on in an emergency.

      That's no laughing matter </shocked>!

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Richard 81
      Boffin

      Re: Deadly

      Isn't it specifically the phosphoric acid in colas that does that? It's certainly been linked to osteoporosis in women.

      1. Super Hans
        Boffin

        Re: Deadly

        Yup it is the specifically the Phosphoric acid in soft drinks that is linked to calcium depletion. The trouble is many studies have also linked caffeine to calcium depletion and Osteoporosis so you can't win really....... Well unless you drink decaf!

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Deadly

      These should be banned from schools, even diet versions.

      The true mark of a free country, that. If something is even potentially mildly kinda harmful, BAN IT! BAN IT NOW BEFORE YOUR CHILDREN DIIIIEEEEE!

      Ok, a little facetious, but I am really rather tired of the banning brigade. Has no child ever survived the terrors of a childhood filled with fizzy drinks? Oh, wait...

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Greg J Preece

          Re: Deadly

          Kids are not free at school, in case you noticed :)

          They're not free to think? More's the pity. It's nice to know we'll continue treating all teenagers as if they're complete morons.

          Perhaps education is the key to solving problems, and would allow for freedom and personal choice, rather than simply banning anything that might ever cause the slightest harm to anyone. In fact, I seem to remember a form of institution dedicated to such education. What were they called again?

          If you're honestly implying that our children - some of the oldest "children" in the world - are completely incapable of figuring this kind of thing out until the same age at which they magically become capable of understanding sex and alcohol, then I think that's very patronising.

          In any case, drugs are not allowed in society - in general, when substances are addictive and have adverse side effects, it's best not to feed them to kids.

          I think there might be a little bit of a difference between sugar and heroin, ta. But then, I'm one of those children-hating bastards who thinks drugs should be legalised.

        2. Fibbles

          Re: Deadly

          "In any case, drugs are not allowed in society"

          Only certain drugs, and only if a politician thinks banning them will help their election chances. They aren't banned to prevent kids getting their hands on them despite what you've been told. If that were the case, alcohol and tobacco would have been outlawed years ago.

      2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Unsweetened Pr0n

        Dare I say it but if you look at the muscle tone of the prostitutes in that trade, you can easily tell the ones who drink too much sugar.

        (So a friend told me.)

        Have a look at the TED talk "Sugar The bitter truth". (No porn there.)

      3. Mephistro

        Re: Deadly

        " Has no child ever survived the terrors of a childhood filled with fizzy drinks?"

        Many have. But lots of them have developed serious health -e.g. diabetes, overweight, kidney damage- problems later in life due to said fizzy drinks.

        To put things in perspective, they don't want to ban fizzy drinks, they just want to prevent children from getting addicted to them when they are more vulnerable. If they parents want to exercise their right to destroy their children's healths, they are free to do so at home. I know some people who do just this, by giving their children a can of coke with every meal, but usually these parents aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Deadly

        I blame those pesky Communists. I only drink grain alcohol with rain water.

        1. Faceless Man

          Re: Deadly

          It is the only way to preserve one's Purity of Essence, after all.

        2. Michael Thibault

          Re: Deadly

          You can't drill into an iceberg a few millenia old to get the good stuff?

          > rain water.

          Ack! Sp-ff-ck!

    4. Lee Dowling

      Re: Deadly

      True, but the diet versions are generally worse, believe it or not. About the only other difference between diet and not is presence of "real" natural sugar or some artificial substitute.

      And sugar/acid rots your teeth, don't you know? But simple physics tells you that drinking it down (and even through a straw) instead of sipping it / swilling it around your mouth (like kids do) is actually better because the exposure time on the enamel is lengthened significantly if you swill it and that's the biggest danger. You can watch a tooth dissolve overnight if you leave it in coke, but that's not what happens in your mouth if you just drink it normally.

      Hence, we should make straws compulsory, and drinking the drink in one go, in preference to any kind of ban whatsoever because that has a quicker, more obvious, harder to tackle, and easier to manage effect on teeth than anything to do with calcium-leeching. Which kinda makes it obvious just how relevant the damage to your calcium is compared to anything else you eat/drink damaging you (i.e. not).

      Personally, I drink SO MUCH coke that you'd probably recoil in horror. Seriously. I do not drink tea, coffee, alcohol of any kind (not religious, just can't stand the taste and don't see the point, and have a father who worked for breweries all his life which has meant "free beer" since I was old enough to try it) or water (except at work where I'm not allowed to bring in fizzy drinks - I work in a school) and my main beverage is actually coke. I buy it en-masse from the local Costco, because I get through that much of it. When they don't have it, I use Pepsi or some equivalent. When I go shopping, I do not buy any other beverage unless it's for guests.

      My ex-wife was the same, and independently of myself before I met her, her father has also been the same for years and researched the effects as a "proper" scientist too and made her stop holding the drink in her mouth when she was little - same for sweets, a boiled sweet or chewing gum running around your mouth for ten minutes does more damage than 2 litres of coke passing over only your tongue. He's also a professional fitness instructor, qualified science teacher with several PhD's, and they both ran karate clubs for decades which killed almost all visiting black-belts through sheer stamina and fitness levels that were unrivalled outside of professional sports. With my ex, it was caffeine-free diet coke though (even though that has more of a calcium-leeching effect).

      I've done this for literally years - since I was a teenager living at home. My parents have Coke on standby for when I visit because they are so used to it, my girlfriend's parents in Italy stock Coke especially for me, and when I meet up with my ex- or her father still we invariably have two cokes. When I go to a pub or restaurant, no matter the country, or how posh, I drink Coke. When I go to a friend's house, they know it's Coke or nothing. I have a sip of wine at Christmas to be social and toast with others, but otherwise it's Coke. It doesn't even need to be "proper" Coke, or Pepsi, or a named brand.

      My teeth? I haven't been to a dentist in about 15 years and have no problems with them (in fact, when I was starting university I had to have many milk and wisdom teeth forcibly removed to make way for adult teeth - they were all in pristine condition and refused to budge without an operation).

      My bones? I've never even broke, fractured, or damaged a bone in my entire body in my entire life (but that's purely anecdotal and doesn't indicate they won't be weaker in years to come).

      My sleep? I drink caffeine all day long, every day, and never have trouble sleeping (this is because caffeine has a tolerance effect that builds up, of course, but I still love it when people drink coffee all day long and then refuse a coke unless it's caffeine-free because "they won't sleep tonight". When I don't have coke for a day, I get a slight headache the next day and then it passes - tested on periods up to two weeks long).

      My weight? I'm actually bordering on underweight, have no diet (or toilet) problems, and eat like a pig all day long.

      My doctor? In the last 15 years, I've seen three doctors, and only to register with them and to have interventions not related to diet or lifestyle (e.g. wisdom teeth pulling, swine flu etc.). I can count on one hand the total visits to doctors over that time. Whenever I register with them, the blood tests and fitness tests pass straight through without comment. My blood pressure, weight, BMI, etc. are normal, always are every time I have them measured.

      About the only downside to my beverage of choice? When I had norovirus a few years ago in Italy (the last illness of any kind I had, and not surprising when you change country and meet 50+ people for the firs time), I'd just drank Coke and the resulting explusion was black. It merely made people think they needed to phone for an ambulance until it was explained.

      If you want to enforce bans, then you need to ban the right thing. A fizzy drink isn't dangerous, even if you're drinking literally hundreds of litres a year and nothing else for decades. What's MORE dangerous is washing it over your teeth for an unnecessary length of time (your teeth have no taste sensors, so why do it?). Thus the "ban" should be on boiled sweets, chewing gum (even "sugar free" which has the exact same sweeteners in it as diet drinks), anything that "fractures" in your mouth or sticks to your teeth like popping candy or chewy bars or even cereal bars.

      Similarly "banning" fatty foods should start with muesli. It's fried. Don't believe me? Go compare the nutritional information of muesli with ANY OTHER CEREAL (last time I did so with sugar-covered honey-nut corn flakes, the corn-flakes won hands down no matter what the brand, sometimes by as much as half the fat/carbs/sugar as the muesli).

      Also, a school banning those things (like mine, and most others, already do) does nothing - the parents will still pack it in lunchboxes (and be told off by the school, so they'll put it in their kids bags and tell them not to tell the teachers), the older children will pop to the tuck shop down the road, and the others will go home where it will be freely supplied. All you would do is increase the chances of kids desiring it because it's "illicit" in schools. It would have to be a BAN, outright, and that seriously infringes on my lifestyle choice that is literally hurting nobody and not added ANYTHING to a health service burden.

      Ideally, though, what we need to ban is stupidity and people drawing single-line conclusions from newspaper reports instead of finding out THE TRUTH about what they are eating.

      Ban muesli.

      Ban tomato sauce (serious health risk as it's almost impossible to tell when it's gone off and is often consumed outside of the best before dates, that's before you even consider the sugar in it).

      Ban straws.

      Ban boiled sweets, toffees and most sweets in general.

      Ban cereal bars.

      THEN you can ban a fizzy drink for leeching your calcium.

      1. Jason Hall

        Re: Deadly

        @Lee

        "You can watch a tooth dissolve overnight if you leave it in coke"

        Except this is patently, observably false. I didn't read the rest of your (probably) bullshit rant after that bit.

      2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Nice one Mr Kent

        But can you confirm for us that there are 7 spoonfuls of sugar in a can.

        Not that you are entirely to blame:

        "There is glucose-fructose syrup in one organic yogurt; organic sugar and organic invert sugar syrup in another. There is fructose in Müller Light. There is sugar in Hovis bread, sugar in healthy-looking Burgen bread, dextrose in Warburton’s wholemeal bread. There is fructose syrup in my Forest Feast dried berries. There is sugar in the steak pie. There is sugar in the smoked salmon. There is sugar in the seafood sticks. There’s a cheese I like, Wensleydale with apricots, which is delicious – thanks to the added fructose. There are sausages with sugar. "

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/dietandfitness/9160114/The-bitter-truth-about-sugar.html

        Obviously you don't have the leptin problem spoken of here:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

        But you do have the skin tone of someone who would be putting on the 15 lb annually that a can a day has given you.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Psyx
        Pint

        Re: Deadly

        "I drink SO MUCH coke that you'd probably recoil in horror."

        ONE can of coke drunk for its own sake makes me recoil in horror. Fizzy drinks are called 'mixers' to my mind, and that's all they should be used for. I find this helps:

        xkcd.com/1035/

    5. Ian Michael Gumby
      Pint

      Re: Deadly

      So what you are saying is that drinking cans of diet irnbru 'iron brew' will make me go insane?

      Brilliant!

      No wonder everyone was giving me those strange looks when I was in Scotland. And here I thought it was because they thought I was constantly hung over....

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Deadly

        Kids aren't free, they are still in the process of learning. Schools act in loco parentis. My parents wouldn't allow me sugary breakfast cereals every day, would only allow me two biscuits at a time- nor would my mum allow me to use my toboggan head-first when it snowed. My grandmother slapped me once when I started to cross a road without looking. These sorts of things are the job of parents.

        My dad did try to encourage me to drink beer from a young age, but after he gave me a couple of pints as a toddler, I didn't touch it again until my late teens (I think my palette changed from sweet to bitter). Beer is good for you, as the malt has long chain sugars, cheap UK lager has added sugar and is piss.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: My parents wouldn't allow me sugary breakfast cereals

          Well that explains the constant dour demeanor at least...

    6. Peter 48
      Stop

      Re: Deadly

      That has been suitably debunked as a myth. Firstly because the source of that element is the carbonation, so even sparkling water would cause the problem, and it is also in such small quantities that it has no effect. The myth that is leads to bone density loss is based on a single flawed study. Further studies have shown that carbonated drink consumption does not lead to an increase in calcium excretion.

  6. Richard 81
    Flame

    Splutter!

    "Dr Chen is indisputably a real doctor and a proper boffin - as opposed to the larger and less distinguished category of "scientist" - being an MD as well as a PhD."

    How dare you Sir! Such an inflammatory statement just caused this doctor* to splutter his delicious and health-giving juice of the naughty bean across the desk.

    *PhD only and you can cram it where tech news hacks traditionally cram things.

    1. frank ly

      @Dr. 81 Re: Splutter!

      Dr. Chen is a double doctor. I wonder if he has a TARDIS? Do you?

      P.S. For what it's worth, I consider the man who prescribes my medication to be a 'qualified medical practitioner' (and not a particularly particularly bright one). You da real doc, boffin and all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Dr. 81 Splutter!

        The medical doctor (GP) who drinks in our beer garden describes those with PhDs as being 'real doctors' as they have written a doctorate.

        1. Maty
          Headmaster

          Re: @Dr. 81 Splutter!

          No, Sir,

          'Real doctors' wrote a thesis and were awarded a doctorate. (From the Latin participle 'doctus' meaning 'learned'.)

          1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

            doctus

            Maty, the Latin participle doctus means “taught” (well, really “having-been-taught”, since it’s in the perfect passive). It’s the Latin adjective doctus that means “learnèd”.

            Thus, every homo doctus is a homo doctus, but not every homo doctus is a homo doctus. ;*)

            1. Michael Dunn
              Headmaster

              Re: doctus @Irony Deficient

              Sir, that's worth ten upvotes; sadly I'm only allowed one.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Caffeinated vs defcaf?

    Was there any inquiry made into any difference in those numbers of mental issues for Decaf vs caffeinated coffee?

    I only ask because once many years ago I worked for a company that made us do kitchen duties (clean, empty coffee machine, bring the milk in, empty dishwasher etc..) so I changed the coffee in the machine for a week or 2 to decaff. Nobody seemed to notice, but after I changed them back some of the more hardcore coffee addict.. err.. I mean drinkers, did seem a bit manic.

    Anon, because even after all these years I still am a little worried what they might do if they found out I messed with their caffeine fix.

    1. hplasm
      Meh

      Re: Caffeinated vs defcaf?

      Only the mad would drink decaf.

      I mean- like no-alchohol beer. Why?????

      1. Don Jefe
        Joke

        Re: Caffeinated vs defcaf?

        It makes the cigarettes better fool!

    2. sisk

      Re: Caffeinated vs defcaf?

      I switched to decaf for a few years for health reasons. After the initial couple weeks of getting over my caffeine addiction I became much easier to live with according to my wife. Interestingly during that time I ended up switching from normal decaf to Teeccino (which, for those who don't know, is basically herbal tea that tastes vaguely like coffee) because I found out that the decaf is even worse than soda health wise.

      Unfortunately my caffeine addiction reasserted itself when I had to start getting up an hour and a half earlier than I have for the entirety of my adult life to start putting a little person on a school bus, but at least I've kept it down to a cup or two a day rather than the four to six pots a day I used to drink (no, that's not an exaggeration).

  8. jake Silver badge

    Workplace coffee sucks. Always.

    I wake up over three 12oz cups of coffee. Beans roasted & milled on the premises daily.

    I hydrate with water. It's the liquid of the gaw/dess's.

    Any liquid with sugar in it is crap, unless I'm planning on fermenting it ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Workplace coffee sucks. Always.

      I really really hate you at times Jake. Then I should direct my energies at avoiding the Workplace rather than petty jealousy.

    2. Lamont Cranston

      "12oz cups"?

      I drink out of a mug.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "12oz cups"?

        Fair enough. 12oz mug, then :-)

        Cylindrical ceramic thingie with a handle, holds about 0.35l. Holds the heat in nicely, too. We're more alike than we are different, kids, regardless of which side of the pond we reside in/on ;-)

        1. Lamont Cranston
          Happy

          Re: "more alike than we are different"

          I'll drink to that, jake! I'm still not measuring the capacity of my mug, though.

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: "12oz cups"?

        12oz - rather over half a pint (imperial, three-quarters of a pint US) - ugh!

        In a country like Italy, where they understand coffee, a cup of coffee will be small and strong (even if it's cappuccino). One of the regrettable things we've acquired from the US is the practice of serving great buckets of coffee. Starbuck's is especially blameworthy, with its vile thick mugs of milky pap. (Of course that isn't the worst thing about Starbuck's.)

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "12oz cups"?

          >In a country like Italy, where they understand coffee, a cup of coffee will be small and strong (even if it's >cappuccino).

          And they serve it with glasses of water.

          1. Michael Dunn

            Re: "12oz cups"? @Dave 126

            "And they serve it with glasses of water." Ditto Greece.

            When I was in Thailand the coffee shops served glasses of coffee together with a glass of weak tea, so that you knew it had been boiled.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Workplace coffee sucks. Always.

      Listen to this man!

      1. jake Silver badge

        @DAM, RE: "Listen to this man!"

        No, please, do not ... rather, instead, TRY what I suggest & make up your own mind ... I ain't perfect, far from it ... I haven't had anyone bitch about my coffee in the last thirty years, though ;-)

    4. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Workplace coffee sucks. Always.

      Our workplace coffee comes from beans roasted and milled the second you press the espresso button. Coffee isn't meant to be a drink drunk in gallons, just small powerful shots that you neck - drink water if you're thirsty.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Sweet Poison

      Please no more stuff from neurotics.

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Sweet Poison

      That would be the same Janet Starr Hull, "Nutrition Counsellor" (not a legally protected term, ever) who takes part in documentary videos about the expanding Earth hypothesis (I refuse to call it a theory)?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8cJCvDnlfA&feature=player_embedded

      That one? That's your credible source on aspartame? The bullshitter who sells diets based on vague fears over "toxicity" that claim to reduce your cancer risk? (She would never say "prevent", just heavily imply it.)

      Fuck off.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Sweet Poison

        The expanding Earth hypothesis is serious!

        I saw it in New Scientist!11!

    3. Andrew 86

      Re: Sweet Poison

      From what little reseach I have done CocaCola has HFCS (Corn Syrup, not sure about UK bottled ones) in them which is even worse!! and is linked to obesity. so much so when coacola introduced it is sales per year per person want 300 to 600.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Sweet Poison

        No HFCS anywhere apart from the US and Japan. Even the Mexicans don't put it in their Coke.

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime
          Alert

          Re: Sweet Poison

          Does not look like there was any analysis between type of sweetener (aspartame, sucralose, Acesulfame K, sodium sacharin, etc).

          Regardless of the hype/fud from either side of the pro/anti sweetener fanatics, sweeteners tend too be too damn sweet and I prefer good old fashioned raw cane sugar if I have to have it (sugar from sugarbeet tends to leave an aftertaste if fermented, raw cane doesn't) ansd the less processing the better.

          I'm looking at stevia to replace the small amount of sugar i have in a bucket of coffee since it is a plant extract rather than something that is only found in a testube.

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: Sweet Poison

            Sucralose (aka Splenda) is actually made from sugar. As one of the partners in its development was Tate and Lyle, it's probably cane sugar. I don't know if that makes it better-tasting, or better for you.

          2. Some Beggar
            FAIL

            Re: Sweet Poison

            since it is a plant extract rather than something that is only found in a testube

            Favouring plant extracts over synthetic chemicals is an excellent rule of thumb. I mean ... if you ignore opium, hemlock, belladonna, cyanide, ricin ...

            Wait ... I don't mean an excellent rule of thumb, do I? I mean a really really terrible rule of thumb.

            1. Omgwtfbbqtime
              FAIL

              @some beggar

              whoosh straight over your head there.

              I didn't say it was a good rule of thumb just that I would prefer a natural product to a synthetic one.

              You keep eating transfats and hydrogenated fats and I'll stick to saturated animal fats, thank you very much.

              Opium, Hemlock, Belladonna - fair enough, I'm quite partial to several members of the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers...) but cyanide? has to be processed to extract it, ricin? has to be processed from castor beans.

              Next!

              1. Some Beggar

                Re: @some beggar

                And sugar has to be processed from sugar cane.

                I didn't miss your point. You didn't make a point.

                1. Omgwtfbbqtime
                  Facepalm

                  Re: @some beggar

                  So you were just being objectionable for the sake of it?

                  1. Some Beggar

                    Re: @some beggar

                    @omgwftbbqtime

                    The idea that natural = good and artificial = bad is utterly moronic.

                    Is that less objectionable?

                    1. Omgwtfbbqtime

                      Re: @some beggar

                      Provided that you agree that the opposite (artificial =good and natural=bad is utterly moronic) holds true as well.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          HFCS popular in US because it's massively subsidised

          "No HFCS anywhere apart from the US and Japan. Even the Mexicans don't put it in their Coke."

          That's correct- UK Coke doesn't contain HFCS, in fact it's relatively uncommon here. We still use, er.... sugar. :-)

          AFAIK the near-total replacement of sugar by HFCS in the US food industry is mainly due to the massive subsidies their corn industry receives, rendering HFCS (and other corn-derived products) artificially cheap, as well as to their large import tariffs on sugar.

          Guessing it'd be a violation of trade agreements to sell it on the world market at the same (subsidised) prices, which would explain its far lesser popularity outside the US (or maybe their own people are consuming all they can make anyway). Doesn't explain why Japan is the exception, though;; if anything I'd have thought Mexico more likely to use it, as that's part of the NAFTA trading block.

          Anyway, as long as I don't have to consume that crap.... :-)

          1. sisk

            Re: HFCS popular in US because it's massively subsidised

            HFCS is popular because we've been given little choice for most of the last 30 years or so. Real sugar sodas are making a comeback here though. PepsiCo calls theirs 'throwback' because real sugar soda hasn't been available in the US since the 80s. It tastes MUCH better than anything made with HFCS.

        3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          Re: Sweet Poison

          Of course they don't.

          The United States of Americans put it in their coke for them. How do you think the recipe is only known by two people when they have bottling plants all over the world?

          Hint:

          They make the syrup in the USA.

          Please give me negative points. Points make prizes when they come from idiots like you.

    4. Some Beggar
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Sweet Poison

      Would that be Janet Starr Hull the self-appointed guru with an internet PhD who charges people a couple of hundred dollars to tell them how much lead they have in their pubic hair?

      Yeah. I think I'll be taking her advice on nutrition.

      1. Michael Dunn
        Joke

        Re: Sweet Poison

        Hence the saying "Puts some lead in your pencil"?

    5. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Moron Poison

      Sad to see you marked down after taking on one of the Chimp's minders.

      So I gave you one. I would have given you two. One for hitting at Donald Rumsfeld' company and corrupt politics and one for being right.

      Unfortunately Internet forae are no place to be right.

      (Unless you are a wing nut (with a penchant for bananas.))

      1. Maty

        Re: Moron Poison

        Good one, Sir.

        'Forae' are indeed no place to be right, and 'forae' is about as wrong as a forosum post (hey, I can play too) can be.

        The usual English plural is 'forums'. If you must affect knowledge of Latin, the Latin nominative plural is 'fora'. In fact in all the forms of 'forum' including genitive, ablative and dative, 'forae' does not exist.

        Nevertheless 'quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur', eh?

  10. thomas k.
    Meh

    great news!

    So, if I stop drinking diet soda (and I do drink a fair amount on a daily basis), the facts that I live from paycheck to paycheck, barely scraping by, and am being hounded by collection agencies for the medical insurance deductables I can't afford to pay will no longer depress me? I can just laugh all that off?

    At least I could then stop taking the anti-depressents I'm currently prescribed but if I wasn't drinking all that diet soda I wouldn't need them, I guess.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: great news!

      Out of interest, how much does all that diet soda cost?

      1. thomas k.

        Re: great news!

        $2 - $3 a 12-pack for the bargain stuff and I drink a couple a day at home, but I also go through 2-3 cans work every night, which is provided at no charge to me.

    2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Soda

      Any idea how much soda there actually is in soda?

      I get the impression that salt levels are similar to that of sea water.

      That can't be right can it?

  11. Whitter
    Trollface

    Lost empire...

    Coffee? What about tea!!!

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Lost empire...

      Douglas Adams, How to Make a Cup of Tea:

      http://www.h2g2.com/approved_entry/A61345

      Tea is good for you. The function of gut bacteria is an area that is still yielding new discoveries, but green tea has been show to encourage good bacteria (more so than any 'pro-biotic' yoghurt drinks). It's one of those things that has been known in China for thousands of years. Even we know that a good cup of tea after a full-English breakfast is good for cutting through the grease, making the back of our throats a less bacteria that might give us 'strep-throat'.

      There is an Chinese saying that "Vegetable soup makes you calm and happy" and I remember reading about ten years ago that scientists had only just got around to confirming that empirically: they discovered that eating vegetable soup for a fortnight resulted in marked drop in stress hormones in the blood.

  12. Andrew Moore

    Surely...

    ...a cup of tea is the choice of the workplace professional.

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Surely...

      The choice between a limescalescale-encrusted kettle, and a boiler (which is only ever hot, not boiling) make a decent cup of tea an impossibility at the office. No tea is preferable to bad tea.

      Instant coffee, however, is a little like sex or wine, in so much as that even though it is bad, it is usually good enough.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Lamont Cranston (was: Re: Surely...)

        "Instant coffee, however, is a little like sex or wine, in so much as that even though it is bad, it is usually good enough."

        Oh my. You are really young, aren't you? Might want to be quiet when the adults are in the room.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: @Lamont Cranston (was: Surely...)

          Heh, I'm actually agreeing with jake...

          The only time bad sex is 'good enough' is when you're a teenager. Although those of us who've been in a relationship for some time would probably also point out that a quick session is not necessarily a bad one. Especially after a long day at work.

          1. Lamont Cranston

            Re: @Fibbles

            I have a full time job and three children so, at the end of any day, I'll take whatever I can get - be it coffee, wine, or sex - and the quality is not always my top concern!

            1. jake Silver badge

              @Lamont Cranston (was: Re: @Fibbles)

              I feel so sorry for you. Sorrier for your wife. And even sorrier for your kids.

          2. jake Silver badge

            @Fibbles (Was: Re: @Lamont Cranston (was: Surely...))

            So-called "quickies" are good ... Hint for all the kids in the audience: Pick a simple pocket token[1]. The first time around, keep it secretly ready for when your .sig-other is having a really bad day. Hand it to 'em, explaining that "this is a freebie, but any time you want a quickie, anywhere, pass it to me, and we'll find a way ASAP ... next time it's my turn, and I hand it back to you, and etc.". Works wonders, if you & your partner trust each other[0]. I've suggested this to various folks over the years, all have thanked me :-)

            [0] If you don't, why are you still partners? Move on, already!

            [1] Ours is an alumin(i)um bit of Ford 427ci piston skirt that my wife grenaded[2] when I was teaching her the fine points of 200MPH+ drag racing ... she was in tears because she broke the motor. The tears turned to embarrassed giggles, which is what I was after.

            [2] PM suggested valve-train failure, probably my fault. I picked the piece off the track at about the 50 foot mark. 20 years ago. I have absolutely no idea how the idea popped into my head.

      2. NorthernCoder

        Re: Surely...

        "Instant coffee, however, is a little like sex or wine, in so much as that even though it is bad, it is usually good enough."

        Surely you were being sarcastic there? May I suggest using El Reg's <irony> tags, or something similar?

        1. AceRimmer

          Re: Surely...

          More of a language fail than a sarcasm fail, I think he meant something along the lines of:

          Even instant coffee is better than no coffee.

          which would be analogous to :

          Even bad sex is better than no sex

          Which, as a dedicated coffee drinker, I can definitely agree with.

          1. Lamont Cranston

            Thanks, Ace.

            Close enough, byt "even instant coffee is preferable to bad tea" was what I was going for.

            A quick test for everyone: next time you're near a hot drinks machine, get a cup each of tea and coffee from it - both will be awful, naturally, but only one will taste like it's actively trying to ruin your day.

            1. Gazareth

              Re: Thanks, Ace.

              It'll taste almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

              1. Dave 126 Silver badge

                Re: Thanks, Ace.

                There is a very simple principle to the making of tea and it's this - to get the proper flavour of tea, the water has to be boiling (not boiled) when it hits the tea leaves. If it's merely hot then the tea will be insipid. That's why we English have these odd rituals, such as warming the teapot first (so as not to cause the boiling water to cool down too fast as it hits the pot). And that's why the American habit of bringing a teacup, a tea bag and a pot of hot water to the table is merely the perfect way of making a thin, pale, watery cup of tea that nobody in their right mind would want to drink. The Americans are all mystified about why the English make such a big thing out of tea because most Americans have never had a good cup of tea. That's why they don't understand. In fact the truth of the matter is that most English people don't know how to make tea any more either, and most people drink cheap instant coffee instead, which is a pity, and gives Americans the impression that the English are just generally clueless about hot stimulants.

                -Douglas Adams

                1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

                  Re: Thanks, Ace.

                  What you have to do is warm the oil condensate off the pot with hot water and then add the leaves and the boiling water. Instant coffee is OK~ish with warm water as it is a processed food that just needs rehydrating.

      3. EvilGav 1
        Thumb Down

        Re: Surely...

        Tea should be made with water around 85C, not boiling.

        I very much enjoy my 2 or 3 500ml cups of tea a day.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    whereas sweetened beverages are effectively a form of tinned or bottled death.

    That's not the catchiest advertising tag line, but it did make me want a coke zero.

  14. Michael Dean
    FAIL

    Digging Further

    If we follow the link to AAN piece we get this

    "The study involved 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71 at enrollment. From 1995 to 1996, consumption of drinks such as soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee was evaluated. About 10 years later, researchers asked the participants whether they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. A total of 11,311 depression diagnoses were made."

    Way too many other possible reasons for depression could have happen - taking a wild guess with the age spread presented I think a few loved ones may have gone on rather than too many diet cokes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Digging Further

      Survivorship bias: perhaps most of the depressed coffee drinkers had enough 'get up and go' to top themselves and didn't make the count.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Depressed? Why should I be depressed?

    Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to pick up a piece of paper, sod all to do with fizzy drinks. Do you know the probability of a robot drinking fizzy pop? If I wasn't so depressed I'd tell you.

  16. Magister

    The cup that cheers, but does not inebriate

    Tea. Big mug, splash of milk, two digestive biscuits.

    If I can't have tea, then I would much rather have a cup of hot Bovril.

    Coffee is a very poor substitute

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: The cup that cheers, but does not inebriate

      >Big mug

      Minimum, pint mug super heated in the microwave to get that extra strong tea flavour out of the leaves.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: The cup that cheers, but does not inebriate

      Actually, "the cups that cheer, but do not inebriate". Although attributed to William Cowper, this description was originated by Bishop George Berkeley, he of the silent tree falling in the forest. He was talking about tar water, to which he attributed medicinal properties.**

      Tar water is available from the vending machines in all the offices where I've worked, but they usually call it coffee.

      ** Curiously, this information comes from Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: The cup that cheers, but does not inebriate

        Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour had an episode called "Coffee", well worth a traipse across the interwebs to find... Apparently, one Pope liked this new-fangled drink so much that he baptised it.

        Speaking of mathematicians (Russell, not Dylan), it was said of Paul Erdős by his colleague Alfréd Rényi "a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems".

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Unhappy

    > Depressed all day, every day

    > No Coke or Diet Coke

    > Drink unsweetened coffee as if caffeine is the key to being one of the Chosen Ones when the rapture comes

    > "Cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk"

    My Face When

  18. Greg J Preece

    You know what would depress me? Living a health-freak's life. Every time I pick up a drink or snack these days there's someone around to tell me all the ways it's going to kill me.

    GOOD!

    I'd rather drop dead at 70 having eaten and drank every bloody thing I like than make it to 75 without Dr Pepper. I've no intention of becoming a man-mountain, but I'm not about to start snacking on the muesli either.

    </grumpy_old_man_who_is_actually_in_his_mid_20s>

    1. Lee Dowling

      Muesli is fried. It's probably one of the worst things you can eat. Go compare the nutritional information to any other cereal (e.g. honey-nut cornflakes) next time you are in a supermarket.

      That said, it tastes like bird-seed and I'm with you on the first part, so I avoid it for that reason.

      I'd like a life experienced for 70 years, than death avoided through sacrifice of that experience for 100.

      1. Mark Pattison
        FAIL

        Muesli

        Give it up, muesli is mainly made of uncooked rolled oats.

        I've done the comparison you suggest with a random muesli is lower in calories and suger, and higher in fibre:

        http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Dorset-Cereals-Simply-Delicious-Muesli/31166011

        http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Kelloggs-Crunchy-Nut-Corn-Flakes/10013011

      2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Smokin hot

        >I'd like a life experienced for 70 years, than death avoided through sacrifice of that experience for 100.

        My dad used to say that.

        About tobacco.

        Capstan Navy Cut.

        Then he got cancer.

        That frightened him.

        But hey, he had a life full of experience right up until his 70's. 71 -and shitty health for decades.

        He smelt like a red tide. I don't know what people dying of sugar poisoning smell like.

    2. Magnus_Pym

      @Greg J Preece

      "I'd rather drop dead at 70 having eaten and drank every bloody thing I like than make it to 75 without Dr Pepper. I've no intention of becoming a man-mountain, but I'm not about to start snacking on the muesli either."

      Don't you mean

      "I'd rather spend my years from 45 to 70 taking ever increasing handfuls of powerful medications with nasty debilitating side effects and sleeping with a tubes up my nose and into my bladder. Slowly, slowly, ever-so-slowly slipping from a painful life to ignominious death - than consider my own and my dependants/loved ones futures a little tiny bit".

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: @Greg J Preece

        I'd rather spend my years from 45 to 70 taking ever increasing handfuls of powerful medications with nasty debilitating side effects and sleeping with a tubes up my nose and into my bladder. Slowly, slowly, ever-so-slowly slipping from a painful life to ignominious death - than consider my own and my dependants/loved ones futures a little tiny bit.

        No, you condescending git, I don't. I mean that it's impossible to pick up anything these days without hearing about how it will kill me, so rather than spend the rest of my life worrying about dying from a thousand cuts, I'm going to continue the laser tag, skiing and otherwise pratting about that keeps me in reasonable condition, and eat and drink as I normally do. No smoking, no heroin, just the odd cider, and lots of chinese food.

        And the most likely outcome from that? I'll live for pretty much the same length of time, but be far happier at the end of it.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: @Greg J Preece

          Yeah, but it is actually healthier to eat something fatty at breakfast, since it 'sets' your body to deal with it throughout the day. Carbs are good at lunch, but in the evening just stick to meat and veg (you don't need carbs to sit back and relax). Easy.

          1. Some Beggar
            Facepalm

            Re: @Greg J Preece

            Yeah, but it is actually healthier to eat something fatty at breakfast, since it 'sets' your body to deal with it throughout the day

            Good grief. This is like a Gillian McKeith convention of nutritional nonsense.

        2. Magnus_Pym

          Re: @Greg J Preece

          And the most likely outcome from that?

          Knee and hip joint problems. High blood pressure. Heart disease.

      2. Fibbles

        Re: @Greg J Preece

        "I'd rather spend my years from 45 to 70 taking ever increasing handfuls of powerful medications with nasty debilitating side effects and sleeping with a tubes up my nose and into my bladder. Slowly, slowly, ever-so-slowly slipping from a painful life to ignominious death - than consider my own and my dependants/loved ones futures a little tiny bit".

        Anecdotal but...

        The vast majority of people I know are not health freaks. Of those in the 45 - 70 age range only a tiny minority are on any medication as far as I'm aware. Only one (actually over 70) has tubes for breathing and that's because he worked as a painter in the ship yards before anyone gave a fuck about the health and safety of workers.

        Hopefully I'll have the genetic resilience and luck of my great-grandad who had a full English every day, enjoyed his whisky and regularly smoked cigars. He lived in good health well into his 80s and enjoyed every minute of it.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: note *canned* sodas

      Boy are you in trouble, don't you know the tin foil for your hat is actually sheet aluminium?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: note *canned* sodas

        Also, the benzoate preservative reacts with the phosphoric acid in Da Coke, which will GIVE YOU LEUKEMIA.

        Coke, Mandrake. Children's Coke Cans.

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: note *canned* sodas

      "It's the aluminium cans that are killing us."

      No, it's chemtrails, as any fule kno.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > that strong unsweetened coffee is the only correct workplace beverage

    Tea, NATO.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Depressed people aren't insane.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It depends what you mean by "depressed people", and I think perhaps what you really mean is "Depressed people aren't crazy".

      If you mean someone who is depressed because their dad died or some other traumatic event, then no they're not insane (or crazy).

      If you mean some one suffering from depression as a disorder, rather than depression as rational mood state induced by circumstances, then by definition they are not sane.

      Sane/Insane are not insults but technical terms (albeit ones which have fallen out of favour due to political correctness), the definition of sane is being in a rational state of mind.

      IANAP (I Am Not A Psychiatrist) but if you are depressed due to metal illness your judgment is compromised to a greater or lesser degree and as such you are by definition not rational.

      Not that I judge or criticise anyone for being depressed or having any other mental illness. It is just that, an illness, something the sufferer is blameless for and there are a variety of treatments available.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Also it annoys me when they change the name of charities because of current political correctness or insults being used.

        The Spastics Society changed it's name to Scope because the word spastic was commonly being used as an insult, even though the name of the charity came from the name of the illnesses involved such as Spastic Diplegia.

        Would Cancer Research change it's name if people were using the word cancer as an insult?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    strong unsweetened coffee

    By "coffee" I assume he means real (Espresso) coffee, not that filtered watery rats piss you get everywhere in the USA.

    1. Some Beggar
      FAIL

      Re: strong unsweetened coffee

      Espresso was invented because there were tax benefits for serving coffee to customers who stood up rather than sat down at a table. It tastes crap compared to a decent cup of properly brewed coffee. Anybody who thinks their life is too busy and important to spend five minutes having a real coffee needs to take a good look in the mirror. The fact that an Emperor's New Clothes snobbery has grown around it is mildly amusing.

  23. Phil W

    10 years and still not depressed

    I've been drinking Diet Pepsi mostly every day, approximately 1 litre a day, for a little over 10 days and can't say I feel remotely depressed.

    Cynical, and socially awkward yes, but I was like that before I started drinking diet soft drinks.

    As many many people have point out correlation does not equal causation.

    The study in question does not actually factor in other factors such as diet. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that a number of the participants had a family history of depression, but it wasn't factored in because it was never acknowledged/diagnosed/treated.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that some of them had diets lacking in carbohydrates. Since these are required for the body to form serotonin, it is a much more likely cause of depression than diet soft drinks.

    P.S. I also enjoy the occasional strong black unsweetened coffee, but I seriously doubt this would counter any negative effects of diet pepsi.

    1. Phil W

      Re: 10 years and still not depressed

      10 Years that should be, not 10 days, Obviously.

      If it made you depressed in 10 days I'd definitely of noticed by now!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 10 years and still not depressed

        You've drunk a litre a day for 10 years -- that makes me depressed.

  24. teebie

    Could we have science stories that are less Goldacreable on The Register please? It isn't supposed to be the Daily Mail

  25. Bodhi

    I assume we are ignoring the many dodgy side effects of coffee, such as

    - Caffeine dependency

    - Increased risk of pancreatic and bladder cancer (which I had 7 years ago, and the docs put it down to coffee)

    - Increased risk of glaucoma

    - Insomnia

    - High blood pressure

    etc etc.

    Given that it's not particularly good for you and tastes like sh*t, I'll stick to full-fat Pepsi thanks.

  26. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    The sweetned thing suggests aspartane.

    Which was linked to depression to the point where trials were stopped because the patients were viewed as serious risks of suicide.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8373935 (scroll to bottom of page for abstract).

    For most people it might be OK but for a proportion of the population it appears Aspartane (created by the everyone's favorite agrichemicals and GM company Monsanto) is about as good an idea as working in a climbing rope shop or a plastic bag factory.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The sweetned thing suggests aspartane.

      * ASPARTAME

  27. dz-015

    What about tea?

    Coffee isn't the only alternative to Coke. We're British for Christ's sake - we're supposed to like tea.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possible link

    Is it just me that thinks like this? People who drink diet drinks are usually hung up on their weight so more likely to be depressed about it. Just a thought.

    Anon because this may sound stupid

  29. Select * From Handle
    Unhappy

    Dammit...

    I have been quaffing Canderel sweetener in my tea since el Reg posted an article that coffee/tea in the work place is the main reason for IT staff being fat... i don't want to be FAT! But i don't want to lose my sanity either! :( Rock/Hardplace

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dammit...

      Sugar is fine. Just don't eat an excessive amount of it.

      Or do more activity.

  30. Magnus_Pym

    Is it because...

    ... diet drinks are SO DEADLY yet much easier to get hold of than TOXIC QUANTITIES of over-the-counter medication that it has become the CRY FOR HELP of choice for depressed people?

    * Emphasis is mine.

  31. Imsimil Berati-Lahn
    Meh

    But... Brawndo has got what your body craves...

    ... It's got... electrolytes!

    Here is my worthless opinion:

    Tea=stimulating and tasty beverage.

    Coffee=bitter tasting medicine useful for getting through dull meetings without snoring.

    Soda (or Pop as I prefer to call it)=a drink best enjoyed at birthday parties with jelly and crisps.

    1. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: But... Brawndo has got what your body craves...

      "Soda (or Pop as I prefer to call it)=a drink best enjoyed with lashings of vodka added."

      There, fixed that for you...

    2. Lamont Cranston

      Re: But... Brawndo has got what your body craves...

      If you find coffee to be too bitter, you should try a cup of Kopi Luwak, as it's not bitter in the slightest, yet still tastes like coffee.

  32. the-it-slayer
    Happy

    Only applies to excess drinking of the pop kind?

    Just like with everything life, everything's alright if done in MODERATION. The word is in caps because life is all about balance. Go for the imbalance and bugger yourself all over. I'm drinking a can of Coca-Cola (no, not the the thin stuff). Tastes lovely once in a blue moon.

    And coffee? Now I don't need to rely on it to give me a kick in the mornings, a sugarless cappuccino or straight Kenco (with little milk) tastes immense for a tiny bit of happiness.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Only applies to excess drinking of the pop kind?

      Quite right, I don't think anybody needs to drink pints of anything a day, except for water and beer of course. Orange juice is good for you in moderation, but it can be to easy to quaff the whole carton.

  33. Dan Paul
    Devil

    Diet Soda

    One of the issues with Diet Soda is the fact that "Nutrasweet" or Aspartame is known to partially breakdown into Methyl Alcohol when mixed with water and allowed to reach temperatures over 90F.

    Canned or bottled soda sits on the back of an unrefrigerated truck or in a warehouse where these temperatures are common place. Fountain soda outlets (restauraunts) use other types of sweetenters than aspartame for this reason (even less temperature control)

    Drinking methyl alcohol in any quantity is not good for anyone but even small quantities may induce mental problems over a long term of exposure. Methyl alcohol is also produced in incorrect fermentation situations (bad moonshine).

    Plain old cane sugar, while "fattening" does not have any known "toxicity" levels.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Diet Soda

      " even small quantities may induce mental problems"

      I drin lost of diert drins and I dnt hav mental prollems.

  34. Helldesk Dogsbody
    Coat

    Confirmation of what we already knew

    Most of us were already aware that to find any sanity in most companies you have to talk to IT and that if you deny coffee to your technical staff you're likely to have a revolt on your hands, this merely explains the correlation between the two :D

  35. zb

    Phd and medical doctor?

    Should he be called Dr Dr Chen?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Phd and medical doctor?

      Only in Germany.

  36. Atonnis
    Devil

    Another option?

    Couldn't they just come up with another option, instead of a stinking, brown liquid that makes me turn blotchy, rash-covered and praying to the porcelain god?

    Yeh, I'm allergic to the vile stuff. I wish people'd stop trying to make my workplace reek of it. If you want a 'good morning' smell, make it bacon...

    1. Michael Dunn

      Re: Another option?

      make it bacon. - difficult to drink!

  37. Supportomancer
    Unhappy

    What else is there?

    I drink diet coke because:

    1. I think it tastes better than full fat coke

    2. coffee tastes like savoury shit (or rather what I imagine savoury shit would taste like, not having actually eaten shit...)

    3. tea tastes like burnt water

    So what other beverage should I be drinking instead if I want my caffeine fix?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What else is there?

      I heard that cocaine is a hell of a drug.

    2. the-it-slayer
      Thumb Up

      Re: What else is there?

      I drink diet coke because:

      1. I think it tastes better than full fat coke - You have weird taste buds!

      2. coffee tastes like savoury shit (or rather what I imagine savoury shit would taste like, not having actually eaten shit...) - You must be drinking shite coffee or not a city worker. Must admit, had the same opinion until my taste buds warmed to the taste. Must admit, I had the same opinion first.

      3. tea tastes like burnt water - Again, must be crap tea.

      So what other beverage should I be drinking instead if I want my caffeine fix? - Alient juice from your comments above. It doesn't exist, but tastes greeeeeeeeat!

      1. Lamont Cranston

        Re: What else is there?

        To be fair, Diet Coke is nicer tasting than regular Coke, owing to it being sweeter (I think this is the same reason that the Pepsi Challenge always resulted in the participants preferring Pepsi over Coke*).

        I shan't be defending the OPs stance on tea/coffee, however.

        *only true in small quantities, all types of cola taste pretty rough after you've had a cupful.

        1. John 62

          Re: What else is there?

          some people argue that we don't really taste certain things, we feel it and smell it. Artificial sweeteners are so much more potent than sugar that you need far less volume, which makes the liquid feel different in the mouth, though, personally I don't agree regarding coke. Diet coke doesn't taste 'sweet' to me. I concede that sometimes I find it hard to tell diet pepsi from regular if it's from a fountain and if there's lots of ice in it. But then I think that's Pepsi's fault for producing an inferior product. Though I did once buy a half-litre bottle of pepsi max by mistake (no coke and the max bottle looked very similar to the normal pepsi) and had to buy something else instead as I couldn't drink the max nonsense. I know some people who can't tell the difference between coke and coke zero whereas I can barely drink coke zero because of the foul taste. coke zero being diet coke marketed for men (though there is a minor difference in the ratio of phosphoric acid to other ingredients as you can see if you compare the ingredients lists of diet coke and zero).

          On the other hand I much prefer artificially sweetened blackcurrant cordial over sugar-sweetened because it doesn't taste as sweet to me. Though in bars, the bar staff are so inconsistent in how much cordial they put in, it's often hard to tell artificial vs sugar.

          Finally, sugar would probably be considered an artificial sweetener if it was developed today. The refining process is pretty involved and probably isn't that much different from 'artificial' sweeteners made from naturally occurring substances.

    3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: What else is there?

      "3. tea tastes like burnt water"

      I don't think you ever drunk tea in your life. FYI, "English Breakfast Tea" dust in bags made of toilet paper is *not* tea.

    4. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Well, there’s …

      Supportomancer, have you tried hot cocoa? Or mate cocido (if you can find it)?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sucralose..

    .is known to cause depression / suicidal feelings. Of course the manufacturers deny this. Aspartame breaks down into very nasty chemicals in the body. So even if you need sweetness in your coffee dont use artificial sweeteners

    1. Some Beggar

      Re: sucralose..

      Citation needed. Google Scholar says a fairly unequivocal "no".

      The manufacturers presumably deny this because it is bollocks.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: sucralose..

        "Citation needed."

        Happy to oblige.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8373935 (scroll to bottom of page for abstract).

        And note the conditions under which the trial was terminated.

        1. Some Beggar
          WTF?

          Re: sucralose..

          @John Smith 19

          Ummm ... why have you linked to an article about aspartame when I asked for a citation about sucralose?

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Meh

          Downvoted because?

          As for why any mfg of any product would deny its product if used properly was bad for you the huge lawsuits that would result might have something to do with it.

          This being a US company I'd go with the examples of the Ford Pinto and the Tobacco industries suppression of a)the addictive properties of Nicotine b)the fact they were controlling levels of it in cigarettes running over decades suggests such corporate behavior is not entirely unknown.

          But note for most non-depressive people it's probably no more dangerous in large quantities than anything else.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sucralose..

        First of all - personal experience... was on it for a bit then stopped because frankly I couldn't be arsed getting the new pack out of the cupboard. Switched back to brown sugar in my coffee...

        Then one Saturday morning my wife made coffee for me and used sucralose and within 3 hours I really did not give a shit about anything and frankly if I'd been hit by a car I wouldn't have cared less. I

        There is a lot of stuff on the web about sucralose and depression and other issues. But I guess you'll say that because they're not the product of some "boffiny" research that its complete bollocks...

        1. Some Beggar
          Facepalm

          Re: sucralose..

          "boffiny" research

          Yeah. Damn those scientists and their science. Damn them all to hell!

  39. John 62

    what do diet/lite drinks taste of?

    depression

  40. Maty

    Classic G.K. Chesterton

    Feast on wine or fast on water

    And your honour shall stand sure,

    God Almighty’s son and daughter

    He the valiant, she the pure

    If an angel out of heaven

    Brings you other things to drink,

    Thank him for his kind attentions,

    And pour them down the sink.

    .....

    When red wine had brought red ruin

    And the death-dance of our times,

    Heaven sent us Soda Water

    As a torment for our crimes.

  41. SirDigalot

    here in the ex-colonies

    We have hot and cold running fresh ground coffee all day ( at least in my office) the problem is I drink tea, being born and raised in the motherland, so I don't care what they serve... I bring my own..

    coke on the other hand, in the old country I used to drink diet coke or pepsi max, I did not really like diet coke out here, diet pepsi was palatable barely, diet dr pepper was the best of them at least...

    now I drink regular coke, the problem is it tastes different, high fructose corn syrup makes it taste weird, so I spend my time finding the Mexican coke which is made with good old fashioned sugar, the taste is subtle but noticeable, it also seems to help in not giving me a hangover when I mix the Mexican coke with whiskey, although that is probably something totally unrelated...

    either way regular coke tates better in England, or at least it did..

  42. stupormundi
    Pint

    Soda pop

    When you're obese, diabetic, and lined up to get arteriosclerosis and alzheimers later, you have much to be sad about. Such sadness if often confused with depression.

  43. Adam Inistrator

    post hoc ergo propter hoc

    often abbreviated to just post hoc

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not clear

    whether we are talking about sugary drinks or those with artificial sweeteners.

    From the words used it does seem as if they are alluding to sweeteners rather than sugar.

    This is why 'NO ADDED SUGAR' is actually a very bad thing.

    Humans have been consuming sugar for a long time. The effects of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners on the human body and mind are still poorly understood.

    I try to avoid 'no added sugar' and 'diet' drinks at all times. This fad is just a way of trying to make people feel better about over-consuming when in fact they should just be balancing their consumption with their energy needs.

    Besides, to me they taste horribly chemical.

  45. TimChuma

    What about canned coffee?

    You can actually get canned coffee drinks in the same cans as fizzy drinks. Also Milo and Calpico (fermented fizzy milk drink.) I am scared to drink some of those drinks from the Asian supermarket, even when they are labelled I don't know what they taste like.

    Also you can get tea and coffee mixed together in the local Malaysian restaurants, so it would be twice as good.

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