Sugary drinks linked to high blood pressure

March 1, 2011 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Sugary drinks linked to high blood pressure
New study findings published in the journal Hypertension have linked the consumption of sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit drinks, to high blood pressure.

To investigate, researchers analyzed data from more than 2,500 volunteers aged between 40 and 59, in the United States and Britain.

Over an average period of three weeks, the volunteers were asked four times to report what they had eaten in the preceding 24 hours, as well as giving urine samples and having their blood pressure measured.

Researchers found that for every extra can of sugary drink consumed per day, participants had higher systolic blood pressure by an average of 1.6 mmHg and a higher diastolic reading by an average of 0.8 mmHg.

The difference was significant even after adjusting for factors such as weight and height.

Not surprisingly, researchers also found that people who drink more sugary drinks tend to have more unhealthy diets in general. As well as eating more sugar, people who drank more than one sugary drink a day consumed more calories on average, as well as less fiber and minerals.

Those who didn't drink sugary drinks had a lower body mass index (BMI) on average than those who drank more than one a day.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.  According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, one in five Canadians has high blood pressure.

For more information on high blood pressure, please visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

To learn more about heart healthy eating, pick up Leslie Beck's book, Heart Healthy Foods for Life.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.