Having just one soft drink a day is associated with increased risk of heart disease, according to a new study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Looking at 6039 people from the Framingham Heart Study, researchers found that metabolic syndrome was 48 percent more prevalent in people who drank one or more soft drink a day.
The metabolic syndrome is characterized by having a cluster of risk factors including abdominal obesity, abnormal blood fats, high blood pressure, insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (the body can't properly use insulin or blood sugar), and elevated blood levels of inflammatory compounds (elevated C-reactive protein in the blood). People with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes.
Diet sodas were also associated with an increased risk of having metabolic syndrome. Soft drinks have previously been linked to childhood obesity and high blood pressure in adults.
The American Heart Association has issued a statement pointing out that this study does not show that soft drinks cause heart disease. However, the findings are significant because people who consume soft drink also tend to eat more calories, saturated and trans fat, less fibre and fewer dairy products.
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