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Sugary drinks endanger health
Many people regularly drink sugary drinks. A study has now shown that the consumption of just two sugary drinks a day increases the risk of dying from heart disease by up to 31 percent.
The team of internationally renowned Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found in a recent study that daily consumption of sugary drinks contributes to an increased risk of premature death from heart disease or cancer. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Circulation".
The effects of consuming sugary drinks
Consuming just a single sugary drink a day increases your risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Consuming two doses of lemonade, juice or energy drink a day increases the likelihood of dying from heart disease by up to 31 percent, the researchers explain. The risk of dying from various other reasons, such as cancer, also increased by more than a fifth through the consumption of these drinks.
Less risk from consuming diet sodas?
Replacing the daily lemonade with a dietary version reduced the risk of premature death. However, this risk increased again if more than four doses of diet soda were consumed daily. The results show that the intake of beverages with sugar and the replacement with other beverages (preferably water) should be limited in order to improve overall health and longevity, the authors explain. Earlier studies had found that diet soda also increased the risk of heart attack.
Where did the data for the study come from?
To find out how carbonated and sugar-sweetened beverages affect our risk of premature death, the researchers analyzed data from 80,647 women from the Nurses' Health Study from 1980 to 2014. In addition, data from 37,716 men from the Health Professionals- Follow-up study from 1986 to 2014 included. During the study, the participants were interviewed every two years about their state of health and their lifestyle.
31 percent higher risk of death from heart disease
The results showed that compared to participants who consumed sugary lemonade less than once a month, those who consumed two or more sugary drinks a day were 31 percent more likely to die of heart disease . Consuming every additional can of a sugar-containing drink was associated with a ten percent higher risk of heart disease. Aside from heart disease, drinking two or more doses of sugary beverage increased the risk of participants dying prematurely for any reason by 21 percent compared to people who consumed the sugary soda less than once a month.
High sugar intake increases metabolic risk factors
"The results are in line with the known adverse effects of high sugar intake on metabolic risk factors," study author Professor Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health said in a press release. Drinking sugary beverages increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and is itself a major risk factor for premature death, Willett adds.
Children must be protected from sugary drinks
The results also provide further support for measures to restrict the marketing of sugary drinks to children and adolescents and to introduce a special tax for lemonades, since the current price for sugary drinks does not include the high cost of dealing with the consequences. The study showed that the consumption of sugary drinks leads to the greatest intake of sugar in the American diet. (as)