September 03, 2019
People who drink high amounts of soda have an increased risk of death, according to the largest study ever to examine the associations between soft drink consumption and mortality outcomes.
Drinking two or more glasses of soda each day – no matter whether it is sugar- or artificially sweetened – was linked to an heightened risk of death, researchers found.
The population-based study included nearly 452,000 people from 10 European countries. Researchers recruited participants between 1992 and 2000, recording their soft drink consumption through questionnaires and interviews. They followed up with them an average of 16 years later.
Researchers found that drinking two glasses of soda each day increased the study participants' overall risk of death.
People who drank two or more glasses of artificially-sweetened sodas had a higher risk of dying from circulatory diseases. Those who drank one or more glasses of sugar-sweetened sodas had a higher likelihood of dying from digestive diseases.
The study's findings were consistent with a similar joint analysis recently conducted by the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses' Health Study. That analysis also linked high soda consumption with greater all-cause mortality.
But the findings were inconsistent with smaller studies conducted in the United States and Singapore.
The research, published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine, come as many American cities have adopted soda taxes. At least seven U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, and Cook County, Illinois have enacted tax measures.
Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association called on municipalities to adopt soda taxes and limit marketing toward children, noting the association between drinking soda and heart disease.
Previous studies have linked soda consumption to increased rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.