Coca-Cola is set to launch a new ad campaign which will defend the safety of artificial sweeteners like Aspartame in order to promote sales of its diet sodas.

Aspartame, which is used to sweeten diet sodas and other low-sugar products, is commonly known as NutraSweet or Equal commercially. The substance has been studied vigorously by scientists, resulting in some conflicting and inconclusive studies. Some studies have suggested that aspartame contributes to obesity while others have concluded that it is perfectly safe to consume.

Yet a more recent study has found that there may indeed be a link between Aspartame and cancer. In this study two large groups of people were tracked over two decades. Writing for The Huffington Post, nutritionist Monica Reinangel reported that the study’s researchers found that men who drank more than one diet soda a day had an increased risk of blood-borne cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

When Aspartame is broken down in the body it becomes methanol which is converted into formaldehyde in the liver before our bodies eliminate it. The conversion to formaldehyde is where cancer-causing effects may result from as formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.

Coca-Cola’s print ad defending the safety of Aspartame will run in USA Today in the Atlanta area today, the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday and then in the Chicago Tribune the following week.

“[The ad postulates] that diet drinks can help people manage their weight and stresses the scientific evidence showing the safety of aspartame,” reports Candice Choi of the Associated Press.

The ad is a continuation of a campaign that Coca-Cola Co. launched back in January of this year which aims to respond to critics who say that the company’s sugary drinks fuel obesity rates. The first ads that kicked off the campaign showcased Coca-Cola’s many diet options and commitment to fighting obesity. John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest said that Coca-Cola’s newest ad venture aims to “proactively defend these diet sweeteners.”

The ad treads lightly on the topic of artificial sweeteners, featuring a picture of two women under the heading “Quality products you can always feel good about.” The ad continues stating, “Time and again, these low- and no-calorie sweeteners have shown to be safe, high-quality alternatives to sugar.”

“Even if (aspartame is) 100 percent safe to use, it’s still problematic from a nutrition standpoint,” said Andy Bellatti, a registered dietitian from Las Vegas.

Bellatti also states that ingredients like aspartame are not necessarily good for people simply because they have no calories or are shown to be safe as they act as ways to keep people hooked on sweets instead of turning to healthier options.

What do you think of Coke’s new ad campaign? Do you think aspartame is safe to consume or potential hazardous to our health? We’d love to hear from you! Share your opinions with us below!

Image source: Alexa / Flickr