People who regularly consume soft drinks – sweetened both artificially and with sugar – can do better with drinking water, according to the findings of a new study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine.
In the study, researchers found that people who drank more than two glasses of soft drink a day had a higher risk of death than those who consumed less than one glass of baking soda per month.
The study, one of the largest of its kind, analyzes data from more than 450,000 men and women from 10 countries in Europe. He found that consuming two or more cups of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day was positively associated with deaths from circulatory disease. One or more glasses of sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with deaths from digestive diseases.
Researchers have recruited people from Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. the study from 1
Participants had an average age of 50.8, and those with health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes were initially excluded from the analysis. Of the participants, 71.1% were women.
When registering for the study, participants were asked to report certain aspects of their lifestyle, including their level of physical activity, smoking habits, and weight. They were also asked to reveal how often they consume 'carbonated soft or diet soft drinks', fruit and vegetable juices and coffee.
Researchers note that once factors such as alcohol consumption, body mass index, diet, physical activity, smoking, and education were considered, participants who consumed approximately two glasses of non-alcoholic beverages had a higher risk of death in compared to those who drank less than one glass a month.
Despite the findings of the study, the researchers note it contains several limitations. Participants were required to report their consumption levels, with the exception of Greece, Italy and Spain, where data were collected through personal interviews.
In addition, the researchers noted that they could not establish a direct link between increased consumption of soft drinks and a higher risk of death, given the observational design of the study. However, they pointed out that the consumption of soft drinks could be an indicator of the overall unhealthy lifestyle.
Researchers also stated that additional studies are needed to examine the possible health effects of artificial sweeteners on mortality.
"We have found that a higher intake of non-alcoholic beverages is associated with a higher risk of death for any reason, whether sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages are consumed," says Dr. Neal Murphy, lead author of the study and scientist from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization.
He added: "Our results for sugar-sweetened soft drinks provide additional support for limiting consumption and replacing them with other healthier drinks, preferably water."