Can Utahns quit their Diet Coke? A local restaurant owner weighs in

May 18, 2023, 2:21 PM | Updated: May 19, 2023, 9:19 am

Bottles of Diet Coke sit on a shelf in a market in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The World H...

Bottles of Diet Coke sit on a shelf in a market in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The World Health Organization announced Thursday, July 13, 2023 that aspartame, a sweetener found in the drink, may cause cancer (Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo)

(Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — The World Health Organization is warning people about the negative side effects of artificial sweeteners in sodas like Diet Coke. A new report came out Monday with an emphasis on getting people to back off all the sweets we have become accustomed to.  

But Utah is known for loving their soda- especially diet soda that is full of artificial sweeteners. Plus, small businesses like soda shops depend on everyone’s love of their soft drinks. If people start changing their minds about soda, it will have a big impact.  

Haley Call, owner of Hugs Cafe in Layton, says her business relies on sodas like Diet Coke.

“A lot! A lot of our business comes from drinks. Usually when people come in and get a drink, then they end up ordering food or a treat and that helps bring in revenue.” said Call.

She doesn’t think the new report will make people in Utah change their habits.  

“It’s part of our culture.  We don’t have as many coffee and tea drinkers here. We drink soda.”

Call doesn’t think diet drinks should be the only things that are villainized.

“Obviously maybe they’re not the best thing for our bodies but there are a lot of other things that are not good for our bodies, as well. So everything in moderation.” said Call.

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Can Utahns quit their Diet Coke? A local restaurant owner weighs in