High consumption of carbonated and noncarbonated fruit drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks in the USA initiated this study. While SSB consumption had been dropping in the USA over the past decade, there's been an increase in consumption among US adults in recent years. But it's likely that both the added sugars and calories in these beverages play a role, Malik said.
The study found that SSBs were particularly linked with death from cardiovascular disease, and to a lesser extent even from cancer. But this doesn't mean that people should consume such drinks without thinking about the consequences.
The link between sugary drinks and cardiovascular disease mortality was a little stronger for women than for men, which the researchers speculated could be down to metabolic differences between the sexes. SSB intake is also on the rise in developing countries, spurred by urbanization and beverage marketing, according to the authors.
A few weeks ago, we were the bearers of bad news when we announced that drinking two or more cans of any artificially sweetened drink each day could significantly increase your risk of stroke and heart disease.
The researchers found that for those who drank one to two sugary drinks a day, the overall risk of death went up 14 percent. Analysts analyzed information from 37,716 men in the Health Professionals follow-up study and 80,647 ladies in the Nurses' Health Study. Researchers accounted for other dietary factors, physical activity and obesity, so that any effect measured could be independently linked with sugar-sweetened beverages. The risk of early death linked with drinking SSBs was more pronounced among women.
Robert Rankin, president of the Calorie Control Council, an organization representing the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry, cautions against drawing conclusions from this and other observational studies.
The study suggests that having two beverages a day, which includes sugary soda, sports drinks and fruit juice, could have significant impacts on health and longevity.
Daily consumers of sodas, sports drinks and other sugary beverages should "cut down substantially", McKeown said.