Health Matters

New research has found that drinking sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice is associated with an early death. The study, by Harvard University’s School of Public Health, found that drinking one 350 ml serving of a sugary drink daily was linked to a 7% increased risk of death overall and a 10% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

The researchers examined associations between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) with risk of total and cause-specific mortality among 37,716 men from the Health Professional’s Follow-up study (from 1986 to 2014) and 80,647 women from the Nurses’ Health study (from 1980 to 2014), who were free from chronic diseases at baseline.

The authors of the study said.“In two large US cohorts, intake of SSBs was positively associated with total mortality, showing a graded association with dose largely caused by cardiovascular disease mortality, and a modest association was observed for cancer mortality.

“ASB intake was positively associated with total and cardiovascular disease mortality but not cancer mortality at high intake levels, mostly among women, and warrants further confirmation.”

The study noted that sugary drinks are the single largest source of added sugar in the US diet. They include the full spectrum of carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks, fruit drinks and sports drinks that contain added caloric sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, sucrose or fruit juice concentrates.

Among younger adults, SSBs contributed 9.3% of daily calories in men and 8.2% in women.

In epidemiological studies, intake of sugary drinks has been associated with weight gain and higher risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke.