Premature Death Risk May Increase With High Soft Drink Consumption, Study Says

Henrietta Brewer
September 4, 2019

The findings suggest Government policies aimed at cutting sugar consumption - such as the sugar tax on fizzy drinks, and "reformulation" of common sweet foods - could have disastrous consequences. Potentially, soda drinkers produce other habits that would add to their odds, comparable to smoking or a much less nutritious diet.

Bottom Line: Greater consumption of soft drinks, including both sugar- and artificially sweetened, was associated with increased risk of overall death in a population-based study of almost 452,000 men and women from 10 European countries.

The current research included more than 451,000 people from 10 European countries. 70 per cent of the participants were women and the subjects had an average age of just over 50 years.

People who had more than one soda daily - sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened - compared to fewer than one a month had a higher risk of dying from colon cancer and Parkinson's disease.

The researchers found that those who reported drinking two or more glasses a day of soft drinks, carbonated and isotonic drinks, and diluted syrups had a 17% increased risk of all-cause mortality compared with those who drank less than one glass a month.

Individuals who had a couple of sugar-sweetened soda a day in comparison with fewer than one a month had a greater danger of dying from digestive illnesses. According to The Sun, that risk went up by 52%.

Murphy further said most of the high soft drink consumers in the study had higher body mass index (BMI) and they were also likely to be tobacco smokers.

Low-calorie and no-calorie sweeteners are "an important tool for weight management and those managing diabetes", said Robert Rankin, president of the Calorie Control Council.

The study assessed diet at the start, including soft drink consumption. "Soft drinks are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet and the authors of this study acknowledge their research does not indicate otherwise".

But the rates for those drinking artificially-sweetened beverages were significantly higher than those consuming full sugar versions. "In these types of studies (observational epidemiology) there are other factors which may be behind the association we observed", he said.

"The consumption of beverages that taste sweet is fueled by marketing and advertising".

The study, led by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of World Health Organization, was observational - meaning it did not prove that the drinking habits caused the higher death risks.

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