A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology provides evidence that consuming beverages with a large amount of sugar increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, consequence of gaining too much weight.

Although this isn’t something new to the world of medicine, researchers say this could be the most complete and comprehensive study made about this subject, according to EurekAlert.

Frank Hu, MD, PHD, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead investigator of the paper states that  “our findings underscore the urgent need for public health strategies that reduce the consumption of these drinks.”

According to a study published in the journal Diabetologia, every 5% of a person’s daily caloric intake that comes from sugary drinks correlates to an 18% higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Image: Rethink Sugary Drink (22/02/14)

The weight excess caused by the beverages is due to added components in form of high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose in the form of table sugar. Both components are common carbohydrates found on plants that are linked to each other, added to food and beverages to enhance the taste and represent a low-cost alternative to do so.

The problem comes when people abuse from it, transforming sugar from “natural fuel” to “compounds called triglycerides, which may lead to fatty liver disease and insulin resistance”.

Researchers reviewed data and say that consuming this beverages one or two times a day increases the risk of developing diabetes in a 26 percent, heart attack in a 35 percent, and strokes in a 16 percent.

According to the study, half of the U.S. population “consumes these types of drinks every day, with one in four getting at least 200 calories per day from them and 5 percent consuming more than 500 calories per day, which is the equivalent of four cans of soda”.

Over the years, scientists and doctors tried to raise awareness on the dangers of having a high-sugar diet, but their efforts doesn’t seem enough to take serious actions on the subject. They think proper labeling, alerting on health consequences should be introduced to educate consumers.

“This is particularly concerning as the research shows that consuming one or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day has been linked to greater weight gain and obesity in numerous published studies,” said Hu, according to EurekALert. “Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to weight gain because the liquid calories are not filling, and so people don’t reduce their food intake at subsequent meals.”

Source: EurekAlert