Sugary beverages and artificially sweetened drinks are known to cause harm to our bodies, but a recent study, led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found that they are linked to a higher risk of premature death, especially for women in the U.S.
“You ain’t a true southerner if you don’t drink sweet tea” might be a phrase we hear often, but ask yourself if you may be drinking just a bit too much. As a woman, if you’re drinking sugary beverages like sweet tea more than twice a day, your chances of premature death have shot up 63% according to the study. Men have a 29% increased chance of premature death by doing the same.
In the March 18th, 2019 publication by Circulation, a journal by the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer deaths are both outcomes. The main cause of premature death was cardiovascular disease, with cancer (mainly colon and breast cancer) coming in second.
Researchers analyzed data accumulated by 80,647 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, and 37,716 men in the Health Professionals follow-up study who did not show signs of chronic disease at the start of this decade’s long study. The participants answered questions pertaining to lifestyle and health status every two years. For the women, this study started in 1980, and for men, 1986 and both lasted until 2014.
While artificially sweetened beverages are an alternative to sugary beverages, women who consume four or more of these drinks increase their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the research. Cancer was not found to be a risk related to artificially sweetened drinks for women, nor were CVD and cancer an effect in men.
It’s not surprising that people who drink sugary beverages consistently gain weight more than those who don’t, especially in children. Obesity, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease have all been linked at some point with the consumption of sugary beverages.
With all the information from research out there today, campaigns against big sugar and soda companies have started circulating social media and the internet. One such campaign was #ChangeTheTune started by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), proudly representing themselves as “America’s Food Watchdog”.
CSPI wanted the public to be aware of what happens when you consume sugary beverages, so they enlisted the help of people who have suffered from Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. They use the hashtag #ChangeTheTune and ##1SOURCE of calories.
Another campaign that attempted to go viral used the fame of Jason Mraz accompanied by MC Flow to reach the masses and inform them of the dangers associated with sugary beverages.
Like the CSPI video, “The Real Bears” takes aim at soda maker giant Coca Cola. Both videos utilize famous marketing ads we know so well to show their versions of the true story.
To really make it hit home, CSPI set up a “Happiness Stand” in Denver to catch the reactions of people who wanted to get a drink of soda. Sparkling water, an obscene amount of sugar, and dye went into each person’s cup, causing a reaction for most that had them disgusted.
If you have any questions or concerns about the effects sugar may have on your body (and your mind), please ask your provider. Call to make an appointment today at 336-694-9331.