Regular consumption of sugary drinks including sports drinks, juices and sodas is linked to premature deaths among women resulting from cardiovascular diseases or cancer, according to an article published on the CNN website. Women who had sugary drinks once in a month’s time than those who had two servings daily had 63 percent more chances of premature death, according to a study published in the journal, ‘Circulation’. Moreover, men who had two servings per day had 29 percent more chances of premature death.

The researchers for the study used data from 37,716 American from a Health Professionals follow-up study that was conducted in 1986 and 80,647 American women from a Nurses’ Health Study that was conducted in 1976. The results of the latest findings were a snapshot of the halfway or middle part of studies in 1994. Findings of the study revealed that the major causes of premature death was cardiovascular diseases, followed by breast and colon cancer.

People who consumed more than one sugary drink in a month’s time but fewer than two servings daily experienced a dosing effect, where the more they consumed, the greater they were exposed to the risk. The relationship between the two weakened, but stayed true when the researchers modified different lifestyle factors including diet, physical activities, family history of Type 2 diabetes and demographics.

Consumption of sugary drinks increased the risk of premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases up to 31 percent, while the group of respondents who consumed more than two servings per day had 18 percent more chances of cancer, in comparison to those who had fewer drinks on a monthly basis. The researchers also investigated the impact of artificial sweeteners in drinks which are considered a much safer alternative by many.

The findings of the study indicated that replacing one sugary drink with artificially sweetened one was found to lower the risk of premature deaths, however consuming four or more artificially sweetened drinks per day increased the risk of premature deaths resulting from cardiovascular disease, particularly among women. The same effect of drinks on men was not seen, who had no risk of dying from cancer, per the findings.

“There’s been previous studies that have shown strong and consistent links between the consumption of sweetened beverages and weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, as well as other cardio-metabolic conditions such as heart disease and stroke,” said lead study author Vasanti Malik, a research scientist and adjunct lecturer in the department of nutrition in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

A similar study was published on the CNN website last month which highlighted an association between drinking two or more artificially sweetened drinks daily and increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and premature deaths among women falling in the age bracket of 50.

President Calorie Control Council Robert Rankin cautioned against deducing conclusions from such observational studies. “It is likely study subjects were already at a greater risk for these conditions and chose low-calorie sweetened beverages to manage their calorie and sugar intake, as these products are proven safe and beneficial for those managing their weight and blood glucose levels,” he said in his statement to the CNN.

 

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