The heart is not sweet in bitter consequences of sugary drinks


Harvard T.H. Research from the Chan Public Health School suggests that the more sugary drinks people drink as adults, the greater the risk of death, especially cardiovascular disease and, to a lesser extent, cancer, as reported in Circulation.

The results come from the analysis of two large prospective adult cohorts that indicate that the link between consumption of sugary drinks and increased risk of mortality was stronger among women than in men. Moderate consumption of artificially sweetened beverages as an alternative slightly decreased the risk of death but drinking 4+ per day was also associated with an increased risk of death for women as well.

"Diet soda can be used to help reduce frequent intake, but water is still the healthiest choice; the findings provide further evidence to support limiting the intake of sugary drinks and replacing them with other beverages, preferably water to improve overall health and longevity. " says Vasanti Malik.

Sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars in the average American diet; such beverages include carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, sports and energy drinks, and fruit juices containing added sugars, artificial sweeteners, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup or juices of concentrated fruit. A single dose of soda may contain 35-37.5 grams of sugar; on average, American adults consume 145 calories per day of such beverages, which accounts for about 6.5% of their energy intake. Younger adults can drink even more; these drinks can contribute up to 9.3% of their calorie intake, and those levels almost exceed dietary recommendations to consume no more than 10% of the total energy of all added sugars.

Epidemiological studies have linked these beverages to weight gain and increased risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stroke and coronary heart disease, but few studies have examined the linkages with these beverages to mortality.

Dietary data and other lifestyle choices were analyzed from 80,647 women aged 30 to 55 years in the NHS study between 1980-2014; and data from 37,716 men aged 40-75 years in the HPFS study of 1986-2014. A strong link between these beverages and increased risk of early death was identified after controlling for other dietary and lifestyle factors. When compared to consuming a sugary drink once a month or less, drinking 1-4 per month was associated with a 1% increase in mortality risk; 2-6 per week was associated with an increase of 6%; 1-2 per day was associated with an increase of 14%; and 2+ per day was associated with a 21% increase. A remarkably strong association between sugary drink consumption and death from cardiovascular disease was found. Compared with those who rarely consumed sugary drinks, those who drank 2 or more servings per day had a 31% higher risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease; and each additional service increases that risk by another 10%.

A lower link between consumption of sugary beverages and the risk of cancer death was also observed between the two cohorts. In the most extreme categories among women, there was a positive association between sugary drinks intake and breast cancer mortality; and among men a borderline positive association was observed between sugary drink intake and colon cancer; artificially sweetened beverages in the highest category were similarly associated with the risk of total and cardiovascular mortality.

The findings are consistent with known adverse effects of high sugar intake on metabolic risk factors and evidence of such beverages increasing disease risk; supports policies to limit the marketing of such beverages to children and adolescents, and supports the implementation of soft drink taxes, as current prices do not include the high cost of addressing their consequences.

Consumption of artificially sweetened beverages should not be considered safe because they only slightly reduced the risk of premature death and there was a link between higher levels of BSA consumption and an increase in overall mortality due to early cardiovascular disease among women. "ASBs could be used to replace the usual intake of SSB to reduce, but the increased consumption of artificially sweetened beverages should also be discouraged."


Source link