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From Danville, Illinois, USA:

My 11 year old daughter has diabetes and travels with us a lot. I read once where they were researching a way to test whether a soft drink is diet or not by using a stick. Is there something like this on the market? We would like to be sure because there have many times where we've had to send regular drinks back.


Any urine test strip can be used to check other liquids (such as diet soda pop) for the presence or absence of sugar. In the past, a very convenient product was TesTape (made by Eli Lilly): it was a paper tape that was yellow, and turned bright green in the presence of sugar. I'm not sure if it's available any more: if there's any left in your drugstore, buy a bunch: it really doesn't matter whether it's past the expiration date for this purpose.

I warn my patients not to trust any "diet" soda pop unless they can see the original container from the factory (either the original metal can or the original plastic bottle). There have been way too many situations where the soda pop that's served might have been mislabeled or otherwise confused between whether or not it contains sugar or not. And don't trust anyone's ability to accurately taste the presence of sugar. (For many adults, it's simpler to order beverages that obviously don't have sugar in them, like tea, coffee, or water, and add your own sweetener. Or, for any age, bring your own can of diet soda pop.)


Original posting 23 Oct 97


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