Are you the type of person to indulge in soft drinks midday as a little pick-me-up, gulp them down with every meal, or go to the bars and slam down multiple whiskey Cokes in one sitting? If so, hopefully this is not a habitual action, as it may impose a larger risk to your health than weight gain and impossible breakouts.
Unsurprisingly, the consumption of soda has been linked to heart failure in a new study conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden published Monday by the British Medical Journal.
Findings suggest that two cans daily of these sugary, bubbly soft drinks can impose such risks by 23 percent.
The research observed 42,400 men over a 12-year timespan, finding 3,604 instances of the sweetened beverages linking to the development of heart failure and 509 deaths.
Think you are safe drinking diet sodas? Not so much. These “sugary drinks” account for diet options as well, such as Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. Practically any soda that uses artificial sweeteners is still a sweetened drink, despite being marketed as diet. While the soda heart failure study specifically focused on both “natural” and artificially sweetened soda, the beverages did not include coffee, juice or tea.
Consumption of sugary drinks may result in an estimated 184,000 deaths annually worldwide according to research published by the journal Circulation. Nearly 6 million people suffer from such heart failure in America alone, resulting in the weakness of the hearts ability to pump adequate blood and oxygen that is crucial to support the body.
Since the research only focused on Swedish men ranging from 45 to 79 years in age, co-author of the study, Susanna Larsson, suggests observing these results further, as sodas and diet drinks may impose different risks on women, certain ethnic groups, youth and older members of the populous.
While similar studies have shown a correlation between stoke and heart disease with the intake of sweetened drinks, no prior research has specifically focused on heart failure, where the biggest threat is imposed toward men and the elderly.
“Sweetened beverages lead to weight gain and obesity and this leads to diabetes and heart failure,” said Martinez-Gonzalez of the University of Navarra in Spain, who wrote an accompanying editorial on other factors absent in the study, such as diet and physical activity. “The take home message is to drink water instead of sweetened beverages.”