Just one fizzy drink a day increases your risk of heart disease, study reveals

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
How many fizzy drinks do you guzzle throughout the day? [Photo: Getty]

Drinking just one fizzy drink a day significantly increases your risk of heart disease, a new study has revealed.

According to research published in the journal Circulation, those who consume two or more sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) a day have a 31% higher risk of early death from heart disease.

Each additional serving of SSBs boosts the likelihood of contracting the disease by a further 10%.

But that’s not all, as the study – led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – also discovered that frequent consumption of sugary drinks increases the risk of death from cancer by 18%.

“Our results provide further support to limit intake of SSBs and to replace them with other beverages, preferably water, to improve overall health and longevity,” said Mr Vasanti Malik, a scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition.

READ MORE: These are the UK’s most sugary drinks

To examine the correlation between the consumption of sugary drinks and increased risk of death, researchers used data from 37,716 American men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study which began in 1986.

They also looked at 80,647 American women in the Nurses’ Health Study which started back in 1976. Both of these investigations ended in 2014.

But swapping a can of Red Bull for a ‘healthier’ artificially sweetened beverage isn’t the answer.

Researchers also found that although artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) are linked to a moderately lower risk of death, four servings a day can increase overall risk of cardiovascular-related mortality among women.

A fizzy drink can increase your risk of heart disease, new research reveals [Photo: Getty]

“These findings are consistent with the known adverse effects of high sugar intake on metabolic risk factors,” Dr Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard, said.

“And the strong evidence that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages increases the risk of type two diabetes – itself a major risk factor for premature death,” he added.

The NHS advises that adults consume no more than 30g of free sugars (sugar added to food or drinks) a day. While children aged seven to 10 should not have anymore than 24g a day which is the equivalent of six sugar cubes.

There is no guidelines limit for children under the age of four but it is recommended that they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with added sugar in it.

READ MORE: Easy ways to cut your child’s sugar consumption

On April 6, 2018 the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (AKA the ‘sugar tax’) was rolled out across the UK. This means that over 50% of manufacturers had to reduce the sugar content of their drinks or face paying the levy – 24p per litre of drink if the beverage contains 8g of sugar per 100 millilitres.

According to Gov.uk, since the measure was announced back in March 2016, 45 million kg of sugar has been cut from drinks brands year-on-year.

The aim of the levy is to help tackle childhood obesity with British teenagers reportedly drinking the equivalent of almost a bathtub of sugary drinks each year.

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