Medicine: Sweet Risk?

A lifetime loss of two days

Like all consumers of diet soda, University of Pittsburgh Physicist Bernard L. Cohen had every reason to be worried by the Canadian animal studies last year. The results seemed to indicate that the saccharin in low-calorie drinks and other artificially sweetened products would increase the risk of human bladder cancer. But, as a longtime researcher, Cohen knew that experimental results can often be misleading—and sometimes misinterpreted.

Whipping out his pocket calculator, Cohen set out to compare the risk of continuing the consumption of diet soda with that of returning to ordinary high-calorie drinks. For starters, he writes...

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