Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day can lead to a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a new research.
The sugar-sweetened beverages are the focus of a comprehensive new study, which also looks at the unique way in which fructose may contribute to these conditions. Previous studies have shown that consuming one or more sugary drinks a day can cause weight gain and obesity.
The researchers examined data from previous studies to determine the effects of sugary drinks on the human health. They found that consuming one or two servings per day could increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26 percent.
The investigators also discovered that same amount of sugary drinks heightens the risk of heart attack or dying from heart disease by 35 percent, while also increasing risk of stroke by 16 percent.
In addition, the scientists also explored how fructose breaks down in the body and its link to weight gain. Fructose is metabolized in the liver, but when there is more sugar than the liver can process, it converts the sugar into fat.
Some of that fat is sent into the bloodstream, which is how people develop high triglyceride levels – a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease. Moreover, fructose can also cause an increase in uric acid in the blood, leading to gouty arthritis.
“Our findings underscore the urgent need for public health strategies that reduce the consumption of these drinks,” said Dr. Frank Hu, a nutrition and epidemiology professor at Harvard School of Public Health.
“Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to weight gain because the liquid calories are not filling and so people don’t reduce their food intake at subsequent meals,” he added. IMAGE/Flickr