According to a study published on March 18, 2019 by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the more sugar sweetened beverages one consumes, the higher their risk of mortality.
For the study, researchers used data from 80,647 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (1980-2014) and 37,716 men in the Health Professionals follow up study (1986-2014). During the course of both studies, participants answered questionnaires every two years about lifestyle habits and health updates. They observed that heavy soda and sports drink consumers (defined as people who consumed 2 or more sugary beverages per day) had a 21% higher risk of early death from any cause, a 31% high risk of death from heart disease and a 16% increased risk of death from cancer.
Soda, sports drinks, fancy coffee concoctions and other sugar sweetened beverages are the single largest source of added sugar in the American diet. According to the Diabetes Council, the average American is now consuming on average, 126g of sugar PER DAY. Keep in mind the World Health Organization recommends 25g of sugar per day.
According to lead study author Vasanti Malik, a nutrition researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Replacing sugar sweetened beverages with other beverages, particularly water, is one strategy to improve health and longevity.”
Other recent nutrition studies have also linked sugar to an increased risk for Type II Diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. As you make your nutrition choices, do your best to be cognizant about the amount of sugar you are consuming. Processed foods tend to have higher sugar amounts compared to single ingredient items such as fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts and seeds.
If you are interested in reading the full study released on March 18, 2019, click HERE.