Recent researches show that drinking two or more sugary drinks a day may increase the risk of heart diseases in women as well as men. Other major health effects of sugary drinks may include obesity and diabetes. Read on for more details.
Drinks which have added sugar or sweeteners in them are known as sugary drinks. Sugary drinks which may include soda, sports drink, soft drinks, fruit punches, etc., have nowadays become a part of a regular diet for millions of people. How frequently do you have a soda or a sports drink or any other soft drink? If your answer is two or more per day, then you are four times more susceptible to having high levels of triglycerides than other people. Many people drink these drinks more than three times a day which is considered to be very unhealthy. Though this fact is known to all, the average consumption of these sugary drinks is constantly growing. There are many life-threatening diseases associated with the over-consumption of sugary drinks which we are going to discuss in the paragraphs given below.
Recommended Amount of Added Sugar Intake
A single bottle (20 ounce) of regular soda contains 16 teaspoons of sugar. According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugar intake should not exceed 4.5 teaspoons/day, for the age group of 12 - 19 years. So from this, we can understand that even one bottle of soda consumed daily can drastically increase the amount of sugar in your body. One research also shows that on an average, a person consumes 100 pounds of sugar in a year by having soda on a regular basis.
Sugary Drinks and Health Issues
There are three major health effects of soft drinks or sugary drinks which are basically caused due to the over-consumption of these drinks. It has been shown in a research that people who have more than two bottles of sugary drinks in a day are more likely to have a high fatty acid content, which may cause many heart disease, diabetes, etc. Following are some of the common diseases which can be caused due to excessive sugary drinks consumption.
A study was conducted in the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center on 4,200 women and men aged between 45 to 85 years in the year 2002. At that time, none of them were suffering from any heart diseases. There were three followups of these participants in the span of five years. It was found that the women who drank more than two sugary drinks in a day were at a greater risk of getting heart diseases and diabetes as compared to the women having one per day. One of the lead researcher of this study, Dr. Christina Shay said: "These women also developed high triglycerides and women with normal blood glucose levels more frequently went from having a low risk to a high risk of developing diabetes over time." Dr. Shay added: "Most people assume that individuals who consume a lot of sugar-sweetened drinks become obese, which in turn, increases their risk for heart disease and diabetes. Although this does occur, this study showed that risk factors for heart disease and stroke developed even when the women didn't gain weight". The observations done in case of women was not observed in case of men. On this, Dr. Shay said "They have smaller bodies, less muscle mass and need fewer calories than men. It is possible that men need more sodas to see an effect." But the study proved the risk of having heart diseases because of excess consumption of sugary beverages. It also increases the risk of high blood pressure.
Intake of increased amount of sugar through the regular consumption of sugary drinks will no doubt take you to diabetic conditions. According to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, people who drink more than two sugary beverages in a day are 25% more prone to develop type 2 diabetes than the people having only one. Apart from this, weight gain is also associated with sugary drinks because of the high calorie content of the drink, which in turn increases the chances of acquiring diabetes. In one of the researches, it has been found that cutting off even one can of soda per day from the child's diet has shown improvement in the insulin level.
Weight gain is also one of the serious effects of sugary drinks. On an average, 1 can of a sugary drink, be it a regular soda or a fruit punch, contains 150 calories. So if you even drink one can daily, you could gain about 15 pounds in a year. Having sugary beverages in the daily diet has become very common among children which is one of the major reasons behind childhood obesity. It has been observed that one among every three children is likely to be overweight. Obesity problems are the root cause for many complicated diseases like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, etc. Sugary beverages may not show an overall weight gain, but it is associated with belly fat or abdominal obesity which is more harmful as it is formed deep inside and affects the blood pressure, insulin production, etc. In spite of drinking sugary drinks regularly, some people do not gain weight, but this doesn't mean they are not at risk of heart problems or diabetes.
Other Health Effects
Sugary beverages can also lead to accelerated aging. A high content of fructose is responsible for the occurrence of facial wrinkles which can be easily visible. These drinks can also increase the risk of dental cavity and problems related to bones. Bones need both calcium and phosphate, but these drinks contain only phosphate which can have harmful effects on bones, and may lead to osteoporosis or brittle bones. They may also cause some mental problems.
By now, you know what are the health effects of sugary drinks. You can replace the sugar content with artificial sweeteners or start having diet drinks. They may help you in preventing the problems of obesity and diabetes which will in turn help you in staying away from heart problems. But regular and excess usage of these diet drinks or artificial sweeteners may also cause some harmful health effects. So just try to cut down on your habit of having soda and other sugary beverages on a regular basis. Concentrate on other drinks like milk and try to have fresh unsweetened fruit juices.