Just one sugary drink can a day increases the risk of a heart attack by a third

As well as also increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by one quarter

Olivia Blair
Wednesday 30 September 2015 09:29
Comments
The amount of sugar, in the form of fructose or sucrose, in fizzy drinks can be linked to health problems, according to research
The amount of sugar, in the form of fructose or sucrose, in fizzy drinks can be linked to health problems, according to research

One sugary drink a day does not keep the doctor away, according to new research.

A study by Harvard's School of Public Health, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology estimates that just one “sugar sweetened beverage” can increase the risk of a heart attack by 35 per cent.

Additionally, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by just over a quarter (26 per cent), as well as the risk of a stroke increasing by 16 per cent.

Researchers examined data from a number of studies and meta-studies to assess the health effects of sugary and fizzy drinks that contain added sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup or sucrose (table sugar).

Accordingly, the way the body metabolises fructose may be part of the problem, as it can lead to fatty liver disease or insulin resistance which increases the risk of developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Researchers added that as half of the U.S. population consumes these drinks every day, they are “the single greatest source of added sugar intake in the U.S. diet.”

Lead author, Dr Frank Hu said: “Our findings underscore the urgent need for public health strategies that reduce the consumption of these drinks.”

“Although reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or added sugar alone is unlikely to solve the obesity epidemic entirely, limiting intake is one simple change that will have a measurable impact on weight control and prevention of cardio-metabolic diseases,” Dr Hu said.

The study also highlighted how sugary drinks can lead to weight gain as they don’t tend to fill a person up. So, in spite of the high amount of calories in the drink, an individual is unlikely to reduce their calorie intake at their next meal.

Dr Hu added that “diet” drinks, which are artificially sweetened, could be preferable to sugary drinks in the short-term but further studies are needed to determine the long-term health effects.

In July, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition advised the U.K. government to cut the current recommended daily intake of sugar in half, to five per cent of our daily energy intake — which, would mean that a can of cola, or similar, could exceed this amount.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in