Published: Wed, September 04, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Want to live longer? Stop consuming soft drinks

Want to live longer? Stop consuming soft drinks

No association was observed between soft drink consumption and overall cancer death. "Soft drinks are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet and the authors of this study acknowledge their research does not indicate otherwise".

The researchers said that when other factors such as body mass index, diet, physical activity, smoking, and education were taken into consideration, the figures translated to a 17 percent higher risk of death among those consuming two glasses a day compared with those drinking less than one glass a month.

After excluding participants who already had conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes at the study's start as well as those without data on soft drink consumption, the researchers were left with 451,743 participants, who stayed in the study for an average of 16.4 years.

Additional studies are now needed to examine the long term health consequences of specific artificial sweeteners that are commonly used in soft drinks, such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium, he said.

All soft drinks were also associated with a greater risk of death from Parkinson's disease. Also among the findings was a higher risk of death from circulatory diseases associated with consuming two or more glass per day of total and artificially sweetened soft drinks, and a higher risk of death from digestive diseases associated with drinking one or more glass per day of total and sugar-sweetened soft drinks. Participants imn the NutriNet-Santé study were asked to complete six 24-hour dietary questionnaires to measure their usual intake of 3,300 different food items, ranked according to how processed they were. Their average age was 51. During the study, 41,693 participants died.

Two diet drinks a day could increase risk of early death by more than a quarter, WHO warns

The study, led by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of World Health Organization, was observational - meaning it did not prove that the drinking habits caused the higher death risks.

"The striking observation in our study was that we found positive associations for both sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened soft drinks with risk of all-cause deaths", lead researcher, Dr Neil Murphy, said.

The large European study found people who have more than two sodas a day - with or without sugar - had a higher risk of dying over about 16 years than people who sipped the fizzy beverages less than once a month.

It's possible that soft drink consumption could be a marker for some other lifestyle factor or behaviour, Lee explained. "However, we can not rule out the possibility that these factors were influencing our findings, hence we can not say the associations we observe are causal". "There really is no need to consume them", Heller said, suggesting suggested water, seltzer or tea instead.

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