Hold diet soda bowls. Regular consumption of soft drinks – both sweetened and artificially sweetened – has been associated with an increased risk of all causes of death, according to studies published this week by JAMA Internal Medicine.
Participants who drank two or more soft drinks a day had a higher risk of mortality than those who consumed less than one glass a month.
The study, one of the largest of its kind, traces 451,743 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 disorders. For sugary soft drinks, one or more glasses a day is associated with deaths from digestive diseases, including diseases of the liver, appendix, pancreas and intestines.
Researchers recruited people from the UK, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden between 1992 and 2000, examining them for food and drink consumption. Participants were excluded if they reported incidents of cancer, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. The average age was 50.8, and 71.1 percent of the participants were women.
Similar results have been shown in several recent studies, but researchers warn that increased consumption of soft drinks may be indicative of an overall unhealthy lifestyle.
"In our study, non-alcoholic beverage users had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were also more likely to be tobacco smokers now," says lead researcher Neil Murphy of the International Research Agency. the river. "We made statistical adjustments in our analyzes of BMI, smoking habits, and other mortality risk factors that may have altered our results, and positive associations remained."
Researchers saw similar associations in smokers and non-smokers as well as in lean and obese participants, indicating that the relationship between soft drinks and mortality is not strongly influenced by smoking habits and BMI.
"The results of this study are significant," says Sarah Reinhardt, a leading nutrition and health analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists. "This reinforces a fact that won't surprise anyone in the nutrition field: Processed foods loaded with artificial ingredients will never be the magic bullet for better health, no matter how low the sugar. Our bodies are smarter than that. "
While advocacy groups such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest widely evaluate studies examining the link between added sugars and human health, they warn that the results may be the" reverse "of the" Effect of drinking baking soda as a population "
"This new European study is somewhat incompatible with previous findings," says Bonnie Liebman, Director of Nutrition at CSPI. For any reason, the risk of dying is more strongly associated with people who have consumed more diet drinks than with people who drank more sugary drinks. "
Murphy says he cannot rule out the possibility of artificially sweetened positive associations. have been influenced by unhealthy individuals moving to artificially sweetened soft drinks.
"We acknowledge that a possible explanation for the positive associations found for artificially sweetened soft drinks is that participants who are already exposed and at greater risk to health (those who are overweight or obese; those with prediabetes) may have switched to artificially sweetened soft drinks to manage their calorie and sugar intake, "he says in an email.
The good news? Researchers find no link between soft drink consumption and overall death from cancer, or Alzheimer's disease deaths.
While the 50 international researchers conducting the study do not develop any theories on the relationships observed, they promote public health campaigns aimed at curbing consumption.
According to the American Heart Association, sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugar in our diets. disease control and prevention About 40 percent of adults are obese, according to the American Medical Association
In the US, four cities in California: Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland and Albany; Philadelphia; Boulder, Colorado; Portland, Ore; and Cook County, Illinois, have all set out to impose taxes on soda, but more widespread efforts have been met with resistance from the soda lobby. However, recent studies show that people drink less sugar instead of healthier choices.
Seth Goldman, CEO of Honest Tea, which is owned by Coca-Cola, said the study should suggest large soda companies introduce alternative beverages.
"Even more imperative is the commercialization of drinks with lower sugar and less sweet," he says. "There is recognition that the consumer is developing too. If [soda companies] does not change, they will miss this developing user. We see changes that are unlikely to reverse. “
Dig deeper: Wellness + Marketing
Want to explore how the wellness concept is being marketed? Our curated list of stories below.
Watch for Fitness Science
The mantra of 10,000 steps a day is not science based. She was born of a marketing campaign for a pedometer, invented in 1965 by a Japanese professor of health sciences.  Debunking Myths for Exercise and Weight Loss
Many exercise and brand exercises promote exercise myths that distort the way people should think about taking calories and exercise.
Context matters: What shapes our notion of 'healthy' food?
The nutritional hierarchy of which animal protein is best suited to us does not always include differences in how it is grown, harvested or processed. Contextual Issues: Understanding US Pain Management
The Department of Health and Human Services views acupuncture as an alternative pain treatment that can help prevent opioid abuse.