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Sweetened Beverage Intake Raises Heart Disease Risk in Women

Saturday, May 02, 2009 by: Louis Lazaris
Tags: beverages, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Women aged 34-59 with no previous related health history are at higher risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) when consuming two or more servings of sugar-sweetened beverages per day, according to a 24-year study that evaluated data from more than 88,000 women.

The study, whose results are published in the April edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), derived data from 7 repeated food-frequency questionnaires. The study was controlled for numerous factors such as smoking, low-level physical activity, high body mass index, saturated and trans fats, and low alcohol consumption.

Women who consumed two or more of these beverages daily had a 35% higher risk of CHD compared to those who consumed about two per month. At the start of the study in 1980, before their diet patterns were examined, the participants were free of CHD, stroke, and diabetes.

"We found that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a higher risk of CHD in women, even after other risk factors for CHD or an unhealthful diet or lifestyle are accounted for," wrote the study's lead author, Simmons College Nutrition Professor Teresa Fung. "This finding provides further rationale for limiting the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages."

Sugar-sweetened beverages were defined by the study as "caffeinated and non-caffeinated colas, other carbonated beverages with sugar, and non-carbonated sweetened beverages". Artificially sweetened beverages were defined as "all types of low-calorie sweet carbonated beverages, such as diet colas and other diet carbonated beverages." Artificially sweetened beverages were not associated with a higher risk of CHD.

According to a Reuters' article discussing the results, previous studies show that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has more than doubled in the past 30 years, based on percentage of energy intake.

The AJCN reports that during the 24-year analysis, 3,105 incidences of nonfatal myocardial infarction and fatal CHD were ascertained from the subjects, whose sweetened-beverage intake varied from 1-4 per month, 2-6 per week, 1 per day, and more than 2 daily.

The study used data from the Nurses' Health Studies, a National Institutes of Health-funded project that began in 1976 to evaluate factors influencing women's health. The Nurses' Health Studies, which expanded in 1989 and includes information provided by more than 238,000 participants, are among the largest and longest running investigations of factors influencing women's health.

In a similar study, published in August 2006 in the AJCN, researchers analyzed the link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity and observed that consumption of these beverages "may be a key contributor to the epidemic of overweight and obesity, by virtue of these beverages' high added sugar content, low satiety, and incomplete compensation for total energy."


About the author

Louis Lazaris is a website designer and the owner of Natural-Life.ca, a directory that provides free business listings for natural health practitioners, organic food stores, organic farms, and organic & vegetarian restaurants in major North American cities like Toronto and New York City.

Louis also maintains a web design blog where he regularly posts articles and tutorials on web development.

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