Is Your Sugary Drink Worth the Risk?

Do you need another reason to reduce your liquid sugar intake?  While added sugars appear to play a role in the development of heart disease in both men and women, a recent study suggests that women are especially vulnerable to the negative effects, due to their smaller calorie allotments.

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma found that women who regularly consumed 2 or more sugar sweetened drinks a days were nearly 4 times more likely to have high triglycerides than those who drank 1 or less.  High triglycerides damage blood vessels and are a risk factor for heart disease.  Higher sugar intake was also associated with a larger waist circumference and increased risk of diabetes.

If this sounds like more of the “same old same old”, consider this additional finding.  Risk factors did not just increase among overweight women.  While obesity has long been linked to larger waist size, elevated triglycerides, and diabetes, this study found that the increased risk was independent of the participants’ weight.  The sugar seems to negatively affect metabolic functions in a way that increases risk on its own.

That sounds like a pretty convincing argument to me for cutting down on sugar-sweetened beverages, and for decreasing the amount of added sugars in general.  There is clearly a price to pay for that sweet taste.

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