Even one serving daily of a sugary soft drink is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
That’s according to a new study published [May 13] in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
In the study, researchers cataloged answers from about 106,000 women who filled out a food questionnaire. The survey included questions about how often they drank sweetened beverages, including sodas, sports drinks and sweetened bottled waters.
The researchers concluded that drinking one or more sugary beverages each day was associated with a nearly 20% greater likelihood of having a cardiovascular disease, when compared with women who either didn’t drink or rarely drank sugary beverages.
“We hypothesize that sugar may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases in several ways,” said lead author Cheryl Anderson, a professor of family and public health at University of California San Diego.
“It raises glucose levels and insulin concentrations in the blood, which may increase appetite and lead to obesity, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”
She noted that excessive sugar is associated with inflammation, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
These conditions are linked to the development of atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of arteries that forms the basis for most cardiovascular disease.