Just 2 sodas a day linked to higher risk of death, study says

Researchers agree: all soda is risky whether its regular or diet.

Fred Bodimer
September 06, 2019 - 9:32 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Another alarming study measuring the health risks of consuming soft drinks.

New data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, found drinking two sugar-sweetened sodas a day increases your risk of digestive diseases -- while drinking two artificially-sweetened beverages a day increases your risk of circulatory diseases.  Both, the study says, could increase your risk of an early death.

"I tell people to try to avoid soda at all costs -- whether that's regular soda or diet soda," said Dr. Jennifer Wessels, family medicine physician at SSM Health Medical Group and VP of Medical Affairs for SSM Health.

This latest study is one of the largest of its kind. It tracked more than 450,000 people from 10 European countries. 

​"There's been a lot of different reports lately on the health and safety of diet soda," Dr. Wessels tells KMOX.  "We know that there are a lot of chemicals and artificial sweeteners in diet soda -- so really my advice to my patients is it is better to drink water or unsweetened tea.   Sweet tea and sugary juices can cause some of the same risks as soda because they still have high levels of sugar or sweetener in there.  So it is really best to stick to plain water or water with a lemon or lime in it, or plain unsweetened tea."

The research was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

Why are sodas bad for you?

Registered dietician Samantha Heller tells CBS This Morning she thinks we are looking at an association, not a cause-and-effect.

"What we have seen through many studies is that sugar-sweetened beverages, like sodas, increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some other diseases," Heller tells CBS.  "Also, artificially or non-nutrient -sweetened beverages contribute to certain diseases as well.  We're not sure why,"

"If you look at the people who are consuming them, maybe they have a less healthy lifestyle," said Heller. "There are a lot of parameters we need to look at here."

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