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NewsBites August 2019 Issue

More Bad News on Sweet Drinks

Image Sudowoodo | Getty Images

Cardiovascular disease is among the many health problems associated with intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.

The intake of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) like sodas, sweetened teas, and fruit drinks has consistently been associated with elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and body weight. A new research study published in the journal Circulation provides strong prospective data that SSB intake is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, with greater risk with a higher number of SSBs consumed.

Artificially sweetened beverage consumption was not associated in this study with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or hypertension. Of note, the authors estimated that swapping out one daily SSB with an artificially sweetened beverage would lower risk of premature death.

Americans have been counseled to reduce sugar intake (and SSBs in particular) for decades. Decline in general availability of SSBs, more readily accessible alternate choices, and public health messaging appear to have resulted in an overall decline in U.S. intake in recent years, but many Americans continue to drink far too many SSBs.

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