Ditch the soda to avoid an early demise, researchers warn
08/15/2020 // Divina Ramirez // Views

It's no secret that soda is one of the unhealthiest drinks out there, but that doesn't stop people from consuming it. That being said, this recent research might change people's minds.

In the largest cohort of its kind, a group of 50 researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) studied the soda consumption of more than 450,000 subjects from 10 European countries. None of them had chronic conditions prior to the study.

Based on the group's reports, both men and women who drank two or more glasses of soda and sweetened drink per day had a higher risk of premature death from all causes. These findings suggest that soda consumption is positively linked to all-cause mortality.

Soda consumption corresponds to a greater risk of premature death

To examine the effects of total soda consumption on mortality risk, researchers from the IARC followed 451,743 individuals from 10 countries in Europe, including Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The participants had been part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EIPC) cohort, one of the largest ongoing cohort studies designed to investigate the link between diet and cancer and other chronic diseases.

During a mean follow-up period of 16.4 years, the researchers recorded a total of 41,693 deaths.

The group also reported that subjects who drank at least two glasses of total soft drinks, sugar-sweetened soft drinks or artificially sweetened soft drinks per day had a higher risk of all-cause mortality compared to those who drank less than one glass of these drinks per day.


Furthermore, subjects who drank two or more glasses of these drinks had a higher risk of death from heart conditions.

On the other hand, subjects who drank one or more glasses of sugar-sweetened soft drinks per day had a higher risk of death from digestive diseases, particularly those that affect the intestines, pancreas and liver.

Taken together, these findings indicate that the consumption of sodas and sweetened drinks is positively linked to all-cause mortality. The group concluded that their research is supportive of public health campaigns aimed at limiting the consumption of soft drinks.

Sugary drinks linked to early death

In an earlier study recently published in the journal Circulation, a team of researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found similar results regarding soda consumption and premature death.

In particular, the researchers found that the greater the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), the greater their risk of premature death from all causes. This risk was also more pronounced among the women participants than among the men.

Based on their report, participants who drank two or more SSBs per day experienced the highest increase in premature death risk at 21 percent. On the other hand, those who drank just one to two SSBs per day had a 14 percent increase in their risk of premature death.

In contrast, drinking one to four SSBs per month corresponded to a one percent increased risk of premature death, thus suggesting that there is a strong correlation between SSB consumption and premature death.

The researchers also noted a significant link between SSB consumption and a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD). In particular, participants who drank at least two or more SSBs per day had a 31 percent increased risk of premature death from CVD.

SSB consumption also raised the risk of premature death from cancer in both men and women participants. (Related: Soda consumption linked to pancreatic cancer.)

Furthermore, researchers also examined the association between premature death risk and the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs), such as those that contain aspartame, saccharin and sucralose, among others.

It appeared that participants who drank ASBs had a moderately lower risk of premature death compared to those who drank SSBs. That being said, the researchers also found that drinking four or more ASBs per day greatly increased the risk of both CVD-related and all-cause death.

All things considered, the researchers note that these findings are consistent with the reported effects of high sugar intake on cardiometabolic health and the risk of premature death from cardiometabolic conditions like diabetes and CVD.

Read more articles about the effects of sodas and other sweetened beverages on human health at Sweeteners.news.

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