A study shows a dramatic increase in heart attack risk from just one fizzy drink per day.
A new study has come to the alarming conclusion that just one sugary drink each day could actually result in your premature death.
The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by Harvard’s School of Public Health, found that a person’s risk of heart attack jumps by 35 percent if he or she consumes just one sugar-sweetened beverage daily, according to an Independent report.
There’s also an increased risk of type 2 diabetes — a 26 percent increase — and stroke — a 16 percent increase, so that might be something you want to think about before reaching for that can of soda.
To come to their conclusions, the researchers examined data from multiple studies to see the relationship to health and the consumption of sugary and fizzy drinks that have lots of added sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup.
It’s how the body handles fructose that is the main concern. The consumption of fructose can result in insulin resistance or fatty liver disease, which raises the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems down the road.
One sugary drink per day certainly isn’t a lot when it comes to Americans, which is what makes these study results so concerning. About half the U.S. population consumes sodas and sugar drinks each and every day, and they represent the main source of added sugar intake in the diets of average Americans.
Dr. Frank Hu, the researcher who led the team, said that the findings indicate that public health strategies should focus on getting Americans to toss those sugary drinks in favor of water or other healthy alternatives, he said according to the report.
While doing so won’t cure obesity overnight, it is one of the greatest contributing factors to expanding waistlines nationwide, and limiting the intake of these beverages is one simple change that can have a huge impact on not only obesity but also cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
The main issue with sugary drinks is they are loaded with calories, but they don’t satisfy people, who will eat even more calories at their next meal.
One possible alternative is diet drinks, which are sweetened artificially and have zero calories. However, scientists don’t yet know what the long-term effects of consuming these drinks are.
The medical community is more and more often targeting high fructose corn syrup as a major cause of obesity and are seeing it as a battleground in the fight against problems stemming from being overweight. It is essentially a sweetener that is made from corn starch and has been processed by glucose isomerase to convert the glucose into what is known as fructose.
It is a relatively recent ingredient, being first marketed back in the 1970s by Clinton Corn Processing Company. Today, it is used worldwide as a sweetener as it is not only easier to handle than traditional granulated sugar, it’s also more stable because it is tied to the price of corn, which is a raw material that is propped up by government subsidies, and has a wider base of production than sugar cane.
The use of high fructose corn syrup began to peak in the 1990s, but since then demand has been dropping as the public has become aware of its harmful health effects, particularly when it comes to obesity and other related health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
However, high fructose corn syrup remains the sweetener of choice in many of the most popular beverages found on store shelves.
Some health-conscious Americans have driven some demand for high fructose corn syrup replacements. For example. Coca-Cola as attempted to market a version of its beverage that uses pure cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup, although sales make up a tiny fraction compared to classic Coke based on high fructose corn syrup.
Consumption of high fructose corn syrup peaked at 37.5 lbs per person per year in 1999. Since then, it’s declined to 27.1 lbs in 2012 — less than the average consumption of refine cane and beet sugar, which is 39.0 lbs.
The high fructose corn syrup industry has recognized its negative publicity lately and has attempted to do a little rebranding in order to get back into the public’s good graces. For example, the industry has attempted to advertise it as “natural” as it is derived from corn, and there was a proposal to change the name to “corn sugar.” The Corn Refiners Association attempted to do this back in 2010, but the Food and Drug Administration rejected this bid in 2012.