A Soda a Day Ups CVD Risk by 30%: NHANES Study

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American adults consume on average about 15% of their calories from sugars added to foods during processing, with a whopping 37% of the added sugar consumed in sugar–sweetened beverages, suggests an analysis of data extending back about 25 years.

Regularly drinking as little as one 12–ounce sugary soda a day may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 30%—independent of total calories, obesity, or other risk factors, as per a study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Epidemiologic studies have linked high consumption of added sugar with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

The American Heart Association recommends less than 100 calories a day (about 5% of total daily calories) for women and 150 calories a day (about 7.5% of total daily calories) for men from added sugars.

The risk of CVD mortality becomes elevated once added sugar intake surpasses 15% of daily calories—equivalent to drinking one 20–ounce Mountain Dew soda in a 2000-calorie daily diet.

The risk rises exponentially as sugar intake increases, peaking with a fourfold increased risk of CVD death for individuals who consume one–third or more of their daily calories in added sugar.

eMedinewS Recommendations

Do not consume > 80 ml of cold drinks in a day
Avoid sweets containing > 30% sugar.