Who doesn’t enjoy a can of soda while watching Tv or eating dinner? We as Americans consider this habit as our special way of relaxing after a stressful day. However, you’ve probably heard someone on the news, or a friend tell you these beverages are not healthy for you; and they are right.
You may love drinking soda, but there’s no denying that it’s bad for your health. In fact, strong evidence says that the habit of consuming soda regularly can have long-lasting negative consequences on the body that increases your risk for chronic diseases, which could lead to an early death.
How Does Drinking Soda Cause Death?
According to one 2019 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), people who frequently consume soda significantly increases their risk of metabolic diseases that cause death (1).
This study surveyed over 500,000 Europeans who drank either sugary or artificially sweetened (diet) soda. Even though the participants were told initially about the possible dangers of soda, many still admit to consuming this beverage. The findings of the study showed that people who drink two or more cans of soda per day had a higher risk of suffering from Parkinson’s, colorectal cancer, infections, and fatty liver disease.
The researchers say that this happens because heavy consumers of regular soda become glucose intolerant overtime as the drink is packed with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. On the other hand, those who drank diet soda had health complications because of the disruption to the body’s natural systems.
Most brands of diet soda have little or zero calories; when you drink it, your body prepares to digest the beverage but there’s no nutrient to breakdown. If this continues for a long time, the body begins to malfunction which leads to metabolic syndrome.
This study suggests that another possible reason for this result is that heavy soda consumers are also more likely to have other unhealthy behaviors including smoking and alcoholism.
We know that regular soda is bad for our health because of its high sugar content which has been linked to obesity. Alternatively, diet soda has been marketed as a healthier option due to its low or zero-calorie content. Because of this, some states with sugar tax even made an exemption for diet soda; making it cheaper and more accessible for many.
While the evidence on regular soda is clear, scientists are just beginning to understand the effects of diet soda. That is why this paper published by JAMA is very important; it helps to reveal the true effect of diet soda on the body.
But this paper is not alone, other major studies have showed that people who drink diet soda are not healthier than those who drink regular soda. Moreover, the result of one study done in Europe (2) showed a strong correlation between heavy diet soda consumption and death from cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attack. Another paper points out that people who drink sugary soda have a higher risk of dying from digestive disorders such as colitis and cirrhosis (3).
Just Give it Up!
If you are a soda lover, the findings of these studies should cajole you to change your habits. Maybe it’s time to finally make the decision to quit your soda addiction like you’ve been planning to do for years.
Giving up soda will be very difficult because they are everywhere; in the grocery store, entertainment venues, and even vending machines in schools. Your best strategy is to find another beverage you like. You could choose Herbal teas, non-caloric flavored water, club soda, and even black coffee. But whatever you do, always remember to drink in moderation.