Brace yourself, lovers of diet sodas and sugary drinks. It’s more bad news and yet another reason to consider ditching your favorite soda or soft drink.
A new study followed more than 450,000 people from 10 European countries for up to 19 years and found those who drank two or more glasses of any type of soda a day had a higher risk of dying from any cause of death than people who drank less than a glass each month.
None of the people had cancer, diabetes, heart disease or stroke before their participation.
The study, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found men and women who drank two or more glasses a day of sugar-sweetened soft drinks had a higher risk of dying from digestive disorders, while those who drank the same amount of diet drinks had higher risks of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Total soft drink consumption in the study was also associated with an increased risk for Parkinson’s disease, but not with Alzheimer’s or cancer.
Soft drinks were defined as “low calorie or diet fizzy soft drinks”, “fizzy soft drinks,” such as cola and lemonade, and “fruit squash or cordials,” which are non-alcoholic concentrated syrups typically mixed with sugar and water.
In this study, one glass of soft drink was 8 fluid ounces, or 250 milliliters; the typical can of soda around the world holds 12 fluid ounces or 355 milliliters
Previous research has shown a link between diet beverages and stroke, dementia, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
In March, a study published in the journal Circulation used data from 80,500 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study and nearly 40,000 men from the Health Professionals study.
It found that women who drank more than two servings a day of sugary beverages — defined as a standard glass, bottle or can — had a 63 percent increased risk of premature death compared to women who drank them less than once a month.
Men who did the same had a 29 percent increase in risk. Those who consumed more than one sugary beverage per month but fewer than two per day seemed to experience a dose effect: The more they drank, the greater the risk.
Substituting one sugary beverage per day with an artificially sweetened one was found to lower the risk of premature death, but drinking four or more artificially sweetened beverages increased the risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease in women. The same effect was not seen for men, and it was not seen for the risk of dying from cancer.
The secret to honestly ditch your favorite sodas slowly and replace them with healthy and fresh juice, tea or water.