Can Too Many Soft Drinks Shorten Your Life?

Young woman sipping soda through a straw

Once again, soft drinks are getting linked with negative effects on your health.

And this time, it’s not just the consequences on your waistline and scale. Instead, one study found that consuming any type of soft drink contributes to an early death.

Let’s say that louder for the people in the back.

According to the study – drinking soda shortens your lifespan. Period.

The study looked at data on 451,743 people with an average age of 50. And the results showed that it didn’t matter whether the people were drinking soft drinks with real or artificially added sugar.

“The striking finding was in nearly half a million people, there was an increased risk of death from all causes, including heart disease, with people that consumed sugar-sweetened beverages, sodas, and artificial sweeteners,” says Mark Hyman, MD, who did not take part in the study. Results showed that people who consumed two or more glasses a day of soft drinks, sugar-sweetened or artificially-sweetened beverages had an increased risk of death from cardiovascular or digestive diseases.

Nothing but bad news

Dr. Hyman says that diet soda is not a “free pass” to consume soda without the negatives.

When it comes to artificial sweeteners, other studies have shown they are linked to obesity, diabetes, increased hunger, and can impact your metabolism.

“Diet drinks have artificial sweeteners in them that affect your brain chemistry, make you hungry, and can slow your metabolism,” says Dr. Hyman. “They affect your gut microbiome in ways that are not good.”

Instead of soda, or sugar-sweetened drinks, Dr. Hyman recommends looking for sparkling water or water with a small amount of fresh fruit added to it. “The key message here is – soda, sugar-sweetened beverages, and artificial sweeteners are not good for you,” says Dr. Hyman. “They contribute to death from all causes and heart disease, so we should not be consuming them.”

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