Do you drink soda? After hearing the results of this new study, you might think twice before grabbing another sugary beverage. It’s not just a matter of extra calories (which, of course, add up), these drinks with added sugar can seriously take years off your life. We don’t know about you, but we’d rather give up the popular beverages and live longer, healthier lives.
Vasanti Malik is a research scientist in the department of nutrition. He led the study at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. There were 80,647 women and 37,716 men who participated in the study. Every two years, they answered questions about their health and lifestyle habits. For women, the study took place from 1980 until 2014, and for men, the study took place from 1986 until 2014.
The results of the study were published in the journal Circulation. Participants who drank 2 or more sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) each day had a 31% higher risk of dying of heart disease. If you increase that daily intake to 3 cans per day, the risk goes up to 41% and so on where each additional SSB per day adds a 10% risk.
The risk isn’t just for heart disease either. Participants who drank 2 or more SSBs each day also had a 21% higher risk of dying from any other disease compared to participants who only drank an SSB once a month or less. Researchers also found a link between drinking SSBs and dying early from cancer.
Drinking any SSBs at all on a regular basis raises the risk of dying from any disease. If you drink 1 can a day, the risk goes up 14%. If you drink 2 to 6 cans a week, the risk goes up 6%. Even drinking 1 to 4 cans a month increases the risk by 1%.
Mr. Malik said, “Our results provide further support to limit intake of SSBs and to replace them with other beverages, preferably water, to improve overall health and longevity.”
Besides the risk of dying from diseases, drinking soda can also lead to things like tooth decay and dehydration. Meanwhile, dehydration can cause high blood pressure, dizziness, constipation and even colon cancer.
Both sugary soda and the diet version can lead to weight gain. The aspartame in diet soda messes with your metabolism, so even though you aren’t consuming 100s of extra calories, it can still be bad for your waistline.
Looks like it’s time to finally kick the soda habit and switch to water. Not only will your risk of dying from any disease go down when you drink water, but you’ll also benefit from the many amazing things water does for us, like helping us stay limber, helping us digest food and helping us think clearly.
How many cans of soda do you drink? Are you going to start drinking more water?