The chances of developing cardiovascular disease are 19 percent greater for women who consume one or more sugary drinks a day than for those who rarely or never consume these drinks, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Sugary beverages tracked in the study included sweetened fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks, regular soft drinks (not diet sodas), sweetened bottled waters and teas as well as coffee with added sugar.
An eight-ounce drink was considered a daily serving. Based on 20 years of data on 106,178 women, the researchers found that chances of developing cardiovascular disease varied by beverage type.
For instance, the risk was 42 percent greater for those who drank one or more sugar-added fruit drinks daily and 23 percent greater for daily soda drinkers than it was for those who steered clear of sugary drinks. Overall, the likelihood of needing a procedure, such as angioplasty, to open clogged arteries was 26 percent greater among women who drank one or more sugary drinks daily, and they were 21 percent more likely to have a stroke.
Cardiovascular disease – an ailment that affects the heart and blood vessels, sometimes simply called heart disease – is the leading cause of death in the United States, with someone dying from it every 37 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An unhealthy diet is one of the leading factors that put people at risk for cardiovascular disease.
Although the sweet taste of sugary drinks may be a lure, they are generally frowned upon by health advocates because the drinks are calorie-laden and low on (or void of) nutrients. Instead, they suggest, opt for water – sugar-free and calorie-free.