Repeated studies on a health bogeyman help explain wider problems with food research.

There's a decent chance you'll be reading about diet soda studies until the day you die. (The odds are exceedingly good it won't be the soda that kills you.)

The latest batch of news reports came last month, based on another study linking diet soda to an increased risk of early death.

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1. If it's artificial, it must be bad

2. Soda is an easy target

3. Scientists need to publish to keep their jobs

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4. Prestigious institutions and the press

5. We still don't understand the limitations of observational studies