Researchers have known for some time that drinking soft drinks, such as sodas, is linked to obesity in children and adolescents. It is equally well recognized that people who drink soda on a regular basis have an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a constellation of conditions that are key precursors of CHD. Many health-conscious consumers have switched over to diet soda to decrease these risks.
Now a new study has found that drinking as little as one can of soda—diet or regular—per day can increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by as much as 48%!
As part of the ongoing Framingham Heart Study, researchers observed the relationship between soft-drink consumption and the incidence of metabolic syndrome in more than 6,000 middle-aged adults (mean age 52.9 years). After a 4-year observation period, study participants who consumed more than one soft drink per day had an increased risk of developing increased weight circumference, impaired fasting glucose levels, higher blood pressure readings and higher LDL cholesterol levels, all of which are known risk factors for developing metabolic syndrome.
Reporting in the July 23 issue of the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, the researchers concluded that “in middle-aged adults, soft-drink consumption is associated with a higher prevalence and incidence of multiple metabolic risk factors.”