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A glass of soda on a ledge

Tooth decay and obesity are just two of many reasons to avoid sweetened beverages. A plethora of new studies implicate soda — as well as fruit drinks and juices, sports and energy drinks, and other sugary libations — in fatty-liver disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney stones, gout, cardiovascular disease, various cancers, and an overall increased risk of premature death. Take a look at some of the latest findings:

  • Americans consume an average of 103 pounds of sugar and corn sweeteners each year — and 36.3 percent of it comes from soda, fruit drinks, and other sugary beverages.
  • Premature cardiovascular mortality was 31 percent higher among those who consumed two or more sugary drinks daily compared with those who rarely drank them. A 2019 Harvard study published in the journal Circulation reviewed consumption patterns of nearly 120,000 people over three decades. The research correlates the incidence but doesn’t prove causality.
  • 30%: Percentage of a heightened chance of developing cancer among those who regularly consume large quantities of sugary drinks, according to a 2019 study published in BMJ that followed more than 100,000 people over nine years. Breast-cancer risk, specifically, increased by 37 percent. Study authors hypothesize that, while sugar may be the main factor, chemicals in caramel coloring and pesticides in fruit juices may also be culprits. The study observed cancer rates and doesn’t prove causality.

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