So Long Soft Drinks, Hello Heart Health?
The hip revamping of Pepsi may have inspired you to splurge on soda, but you may want to reconsider this after you hear about a recent article on the subject in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The article contains the findings of a 24-year study of women’s dietary habits, particularly the frequency of consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and the associated incidence of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). The study began in 1976 with a group of 121,700 female nurses, aged 30-55, living in 11 U.S. states. In 1980, women with a history of CHD, stroke, or diabetes were eliminated in order to insure the diets of those surveyed were not altered due to preexisting health conditions, leaving 88,520 women to form the core basis of this study. These participants completed food-frequency questionnaires every four years until 2002.
In total, 3,105 of the women in the study were diagnosed with Coronary Heart Disease. After accounting for other risk factors for CHD along with unhealthy diet and lifestyle, researchers still concluded that regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda or drinks flavored with fruit juice or natural or artificial flavors, puts you at a greater risk of developing Coronary Heart Disease.
It will probably not surprise you that the study also found that those who regularly drank more sugary beverages were more inclined to smoke, exercise little, eat less fruits and vegetables, and have higher Body Mass Indexes (BMIs). But we didn’t necessarily need science to drive home what we already know from life experience—that one bad choice often leads to another.
Prior studies have already shown a direct link between the consumption of high calorie drinks and weight gain as well as increased risk of Type-2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. Now, with this news, you might actually be inclined to reduce, if not eliminate, such drinks from your diet; this would not only potentially slim your hips but also help your heart.
Fung, Teresa T., et al. “Sweetened beverage consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.