People who frequently drink sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), such as soda and sports drinks, are at increased risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease and, to a lesser extent, cancer, according to a recent study in the journal Circulation.
Harvard researchers analyzed three decades of data from more than 37,000 men in the Health Professionals Study and 80,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and controlled for many variables, including other dietary factors, physical activity, family history, and body weight. The risk of death rose modestly with each additional daily SSB. Artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) were not associated with mortality rate overall. The only exception: Women who drank four or more ASBs a day had an elevated risk of cardiovascular death compared to those who drank none.
Previous studies have linked SSBs to diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease. “Our results support recommendations and policies to limit intake of SSBs and to consume ASBs in moderation to improve overall health and longevity,” the study concluded. The best option is to drink water.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see Semi-Sweet News About Sugar.