By: April Carson
A recent study has found that drinking soda and other sugary beverages can be detrimental to your health, as they have been linked to an increased risk of premature death.
A long-term study published in the Circulation journal closely followed a sample of over 80 thousand females and 37 thousand males from the healthcare field for nearly 30 years. At regular 4 year intervals, these participants filled out surveys regarding their diet as well as gave updated responses to questions concerning lifestyle choices and current health conditions every two years during this extended period.
The results showed that those who drank two or more sugary drinks per day had an increased risk of premature death compared to those who drank none. The risk was even greater for participants under the age of 50, suggesting that it is never too early to pay attention to what you consume.
Partaking in considerable amounts of sugary refreshments, such as soda, juice, energy drinks, and sports drinks had a direct effect on the mortality risk of study participants.
Even when accounting for variables such as smoking, alcohol use, physical activity levels, and dietary choices including the intake of fruits, vegetables, and red meat - all known to influence one's risk of premature death or disease- the results still held.
These findings highlight the importance of limiting one's intake of sugary drinks, as it can have an immense impact on an individual's long-term health and overall mortality risk. Healthy alternatives such as water, tea, and coffee should be prioritized to reduce one’s risk of developing chronic diseases or suffering from premature death.
Vasanti Malik, a research scientist from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Department of Nutrition and lead author for this study had this to say: "Our results confirm that it is essential to reduce sipping on sugary drinks and switch them out with healthier alternatives such as water to ensure better long-term health."
It's imperative to bear in mind that the study only revealed a correlation and did not provide evidence that consuming soda or other sugary drinks leads to an untimely demise. However, other studies have revealed that sugary drinks may lead to obesity and diabetes which are known risk factors for death.
It is highly advisable to reduce your intake of sugary drinks if you wish to reduce one’s risk of developing chronic diseases or suffering from premature death.
Americans are currently consuming more sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) than ever before, even though SSB consumption had steadily declined over the past ten years. This surge in drinking SSBs can be seen not only among U.S. adults but also in developing countries around the world, making it one of the most abundant sources of added sugars to our diets.
In the past, research has demonstrated correlations between sugary soft drinks consumption and weight gain as well as a heightened likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Yet surprisingly few studies have explored any connection between this beverage intake to early mortality - until now that is.
A new study conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts found that adults who are most prone to drinking one or more sugary soft drinks per day have a higher risk of premature death than those who avoid them altogether.
But what about those who choose diet drinks? Surprisingly, these individuals are at a reduced risk of early death. This is because artificial sweeteners in place of sugar were not linked with an increased mortality rate throughout the study period.
Nevertheless, drinking a large number of diet drinks - around four or more servings per day - was connected to an increased probability of premature death among women. It is possible that this discovery could be due to something called "reverse causation," meaning when people with known heart health issues (like high blood pressure and obesity) switch from regular soda beverages to diet ones, they may be more likely to die prematurely.
Regardless, the findings of this study suggest that regularly consuming large amounts of sugary drinks can increase one's risk of early death and should be avoided. Furthermore, people who are looking to reduce their consumption levels should consider switching to diet beverages in moderation. Doing so may help keep their risk of premature death lower than if they continued to consume sugar-sweetened drinks.
In addition to the study results, it is important to note that even diet beverages should not be consumed in excess as these may also contain artificial sweeteners and other ingredients that can hurt health.
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April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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