NEW ORLEANS, LA – Those sugary drinks you’re always chuggin’ down– new research shows they MIGHT kill you.
At an American Heart Association conference in New Orleans, researchers linked about 180,000 deaths worldwide to drinking sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks with added sugar.
“A high sugar diet can eventually lead to diabetes,” says Karen Siegel Propis, a Houston-based registered & licensed dietician. “Sugary sodas (create) a more acidic blood level, and we do know that an acidic blood level makes a person more prone to disease, whether it’s fibromyalgia type of disease, or body inflammation, certain cancers….It can also affect the neurotransmitter serotonin which plays a role in depression and mental health.”
And yet, folks toss back these sweet liquid confections like tic-tacs.
The study links sugary drink consumption with deaths from chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Here in the U.S., 25,000 deaths were linked.
Japan has the smallest percentage of sweet drink consumers and the lowest number of associated deaths, while Mexico has the highest number and most linked deaths.
And that’s where the skeptics come in. Words like “linked” and “associated” don’t say these drinks ’cause’ death.
The American Beverage Association calls it a “huge leap” for the researchers to take beverage intake numbers and “allege those beverages are the cause of deaths which the authors themselves acknowledge are due to chronic disease.”
But when two out of three Americans are overweight and 7 in 10 deaths are caused by chronic conditions, there has to be something causing it, right? It seems our sweet tooth just might be the thing. So how do we kick our “sugar jones?”
“I’m not a big advocate of saying ‘No, you can’t have sugar,'” says dietician Propis, “but let’s look at how much, how often and is it in balance with everything else that we’re getting? The whole grains, the fresh fruits, vegetables, the lean meats.”
Parting from sugar may be sweet sorrow, but if the results of this study prove true, continuing to drink it, could leave a sour taste in all our mouths.