Most poll-takers won't change habits

A new case study published in General Dentistry, the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, claims that drinking lots of soda can rot your teeth as badly as doing lots of meth.

And here's the kicker: It's not just regular soda, it's diet soda, too.

Author and dental professor Mohammed Bassiouny has observed the similarities over 20 years. In a new study, he makes a case study of three patients — one who used meth habitually for three years, one who was addicted to crack for 18 years, and a third, a woman, who drank two liters of diet soda every day for three to five years. Their teeth were all basically the same.

While the study found for some reason that Appalachia is "ground zero" for soda addiction, the actual cases cited included people from cities with fluoridated water, of a similar socio-economic background.

While we usually think of sugary sodas as being the sure-fire teeth-rotters, apparently the big culprit is citric acid, which is equally as present in diet soda along with sugared soda.

The American Beverage Association launched a counter-attack claiming Bassiouny's study is nonsense. "To single out diet soda consumption as the unique factor in her tooth decay and erosion — and to compare it to that from illicit drug use — is irresponsible. The body of available science does not support that beverages are a unique factor in causing tooth decay or erosion," ABA said.

Twenty people answered the Tribune's poll about whether the information would cause them to change their habits. Forty percent said yes, 60 percent said no.