Drinking Sugary Beverages Linked With Early Death

CNN: Study Links Sugary Drinks to Higher Risk of Premature Death

Men who did the same had a 29% increase in risk.

Substituting one sugary beverage per day with an artificially sweetened one was found to lower the risk of premature death, but drinking four or more artificially sweetened beverages increased the risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease in women. There may be other factors that explain the link - for example, those who consume a lot of sugary drinks might have less healthy diets overall.

In a statement regarding the study, the American Beverage Association (ABA) said that it considers soft drinks "safe to consume as part of a balanced diet", and that the sugar used in the beverages is the same as sugar used in other food products.

SSBs are the largest source of added sugar in the USA diet, the authors wrote.

While Americans have been drinking fewer sugary drinks, such as soda and sports drinks, over the past decade, they still represent the single largest source of added sugar in the USA diet and their consumption is on the rise around the world. A typical SSB serving of a soda may contain 35-37.5 g of sugar, the team further pointed out, and adults in the US consume on average 145 calories per day from SSBs, which is about 6.5% of their energy intake.

Read the Circulation's article - Long-Term Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Mortality in US Adults.

And what about replacing sugary drinks with artificially sweetened drinks?

To investigate this in more detail, the authors turned to two large, ongoing prospective cohort studies.

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The researchers used data from 37,716 American men in the Health Professionals follow-up study - which started in 1986 - and 80,647 Americanwomen in the Nurses' Health Study - which started in 1976.

Vasanti and an worldwide research team examined associations between consumption of sweet drinks and death from various causes, while controlling for other lifestyle and health factors such as physical activity and body mass index.

Two or more per day was linked with a 21 per cent increase compared with drinking them less than once a month. They also may consume more total calories than they otherwise would, which contributes to obesity as well as an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. And each additional SSB serving increased this risk by a further 10%.

A smaller link between consumption of sugar drinks and risk of death from cancer was also observed between both cohorts. Only a few connected SSB intake with mortality. Another reason to look at the label carefully is because one container may be considered more than one serving, which can double or triple your sugar consumption.

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) can increase people's risk for premature death, but this does not always mean that consuming artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) is the healthier option.

The study also found that sweetened drink consumption was associated with a 31 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease for women and men.

"It could simply be the physiological or metabolic differences between men and women", said Malik.

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