By Kennedy Shelley
People who drink two sodas a day have a significant chance of dying earlier than they should.
According to this new study, it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a diet soda or one full of sugar.
The study was an observational study, not a double blind one so just seeing a link between these two things does not prove that the soda caused the premature death, but the link was significant.
The study looked at 415,000 people from several European countries from 1992 to 2000.
The study originally looked to see if there was a link between cancer and consumption of fizzy soft drinks.
There was no link discovered, but the authors noted that all cause mortality was higher for people who consumed 16 or more ounces of soda a day.
The scientists dug deeper into the data to see if soda drinkers were more likely to be overweight or if they had something else to put them at higher risk of early death, but they could not find any link.
So, this remains a bit of mystery. Why does soda consumption seem to cause early death?
The study authors hypothesize that soda drinkers might have an overall unhealthy diet.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US have noticed that people who drink the most sugary soda tend to have the worst diets for healthy living.
In a Reuters story on this study, the lead author, Neil Murphy, Ph.D., was quoted as saying “high soft drink consumption may be a marker of overall unhealth[ful] diet.”
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and released on September 3, 2019.
The studies authors suggest until a clear link is discovered it is better for people to avoid artificial beverages and stick with water.
It doesn’t seem to matter what type of fizzy drink people drink; the results were the same. People who like Red Bulls have the same problem as those who are drinking a diet Shasta.
This is the third big study showing a link between drinking sugar-free soft drinks and all-cause mortality risk.
Note, this study was only dealing with so-called soft drinks and did not include fruit juices.
Even when you factor in major risk factors such as obesity, smoking, and education level, just drinking two sodas a day increased your chances of premature death by 17%.
They did note that if you were drinking sugar-free drinks, you have a greater chance of cardiovascular death, and if your soda has sugar you are more likely to have digestive diseases. Both groups have higher risks of Parkinson’s.
People who had less than two soda’s a day did not have this problem. So occasionally enjoying a soda doesn’t seem to have this effect.
One glass according to the study was defined as 250 ml or 8.5 ounces. But a Big Gulp at 7/11 is 32 ounces and 16-ounce plastic bottles would give you significantly more than this.
No one knows with certainty why this link exists. But the prudent thing to do is to skip the soda and go with water.