Growing up I loved soda. We didn’t have it every day so it felt like a real treat. I can even remember the thrill of spending the money I earned doing chores on a fountain root beer with crushed ice. Today soda is on my doesn’t-cross-my-lips list. And now there’s even more evidence for avoiding it.
In a new study Harvard scientists analyzed 11 previous studies that looked at the link between sugar-sweetened beverages and health. The studies included more than 300,000 participants and the findings showed that downing 1-2 sugary drinks a day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 26% and the risk of metabolic syndrome by 20% (compared to those who consumed less than one per month). Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that raise the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
In the US we drink an average of just under 600 12-ounce servings of sugary beverages per person per year - that’s 1.6 12-ounce cans per day for every man, woman, and child.
So just how much sugar is that? Well there’s about 7 tsp of sugar in a 12 ounce can of cola. At just one a day that adds up to 2,555 tsp per year, the amount in 4 ½ five pound bags of sugar. Yikes!
Think diet soda is any better? Check back tomorrow for why I don’t recommend it, even though it is sugar free.