While soda consumption appears to be on the decline, these fizzy drinks and many other sugar-sweetened beverages are still marketed heavily, especially to younger age groups. Here are four associated health risks, as told by researchers.
1. They promote overeating
According to research, liquid carbohydrates produce less satiety than solid forms, an effect often seen with sugar-sweetened drinks like soda. So, when these beverages fail to provide any feeling of fullness, they simply end up as empty calories while you consume more food to satisfy your hunger.
“Fluid calories do not hold strong satiety properties, don’t suppress hunger and don’t elicit compensatory dietary responses,” said Richard Mattes, a professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University. “When drinking fluid calories, people often end up eating more calories overall.”
2. Dental health takes a hit
It is well-known that sugar is not good for your teeth. But opting for sugar-free soda is not a solution as it still contains acid which can weaken the enamel of our teeth.
To be specific, soda contains phosphoric acid and citric acid which are said to attack the enamel for a period of 20 minutes. The more soda you drink, the longer the attacks and the weaker the enamel becomes. Over time, there is at high risk of suffering tooth decay, especially in the case of children and teenagers as their teeth are still vulnerable.
3. They may lead to type 2 diabetes
Just another reason why you should probably avoid stocking up the office mini-fridge with cans of coke. Drinking just one to two sugary drinks per day could increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26 percent.
The finding emerged from a study conducted by Harvard University. Furthermore, this association between soda and diabetes risk was “likely a cause-and-effect relationship,” according to the researchers.
After all, the lack of fiber and the excessive amount of sugar can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. If one continues to drink sugary beverages to compensate for the inevitable crash, they are bound to develop insulin resistance.
4. Greater risk of dying from heart disease
Earlier this year, researchers at Emory University found an association between sugary drinks and an increased risk of death from coronary artery disease. While more research is needed to confirm cause and effect, this link was only found when looking at liquids.
“Two sodas a day appears to double your risk of dying from heart disease. And it was just the drinks. We looked at sweet foods, and there was no similar effect,” said Dr. Jean Welsh, assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory. By one theory, people may consume beverages in excess as they do not provide a feeling of fullness the way sugary foods might.