Sugary drinks are some of the most popular drinks around the world, but the health hazards linked to their consumption are rarely considered.
These range from increased chances of tooth decay to a higher risk of heart disease and metabolic disorders like Type 2 diabetes.
For those wanting to live a longer and healthier life, fizzy drinks should be therefore kept to a minimum – or better yet, cut out entirely from your diet.
So just how bad are soda drinks for your health?
Increased dementia risk
Research presented at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference revealed the link between fizzy drinks and increased risk of the disease.
It revealed that people who had a high consumption of sugar, particularly from sugary drinks, were found to have the highest risk of developing Alzheimer’s – the most common cause of dementia.
A previous Framingham Heart Study (FHS) found that those who consumed one to seven servings of sugar-sweetened beverages each week were 1.91 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who consumed no added-sugar drinks.
“Dementia is one of the 21st century’s biggest killers, with one person developing the condition every three minutes. With no way to slow down or cure dementia, risk reduction is critical,” said Dr Dough Brown, chief policy and research officer at Alzheimer’s Society.
He continued: “Too much sugar is linked to Type 2 diabetes and our previous research has identified Type 2 diabetes as a risk factor for dementia. This study backs up this evidence, suggesting that excess sugar may increase our risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and all types of sugar – from fruit juice to lemonade – have the same impact.
“By cutting down on the fizzy drinks, sweets and cakes and eating a varied and balanced diet, we will be able to reduce our risk of developing dementia in later life.”
Increased visceral fat
Visceral fat is also known as belly fat, and those who carrying large amounts of it should heed caution.
Experts at Harvard Medical School pointed out the health risks associated with visceral fat.
Considered a “key player” in a variety of health problems, too much visceral fat is linked to:
Previous research has found that individuals consuming at least one sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 27% greater increase in belly fat volume over six years, compared with those not consuming sugary beverages.
“Sugar-sweetened beverages, sweetened with either sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup, are the leading source of added sugars in the diets of adults,” noted a study on the drinks’ role in fat, published in the National Library of Medicine.
It added: “Excess sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was associated with weight gain with emerging evidence suggesting that greater consumption of SSBs may be preferentially associated with fat accumulation in the belly.”
The research further bolstered the health warning of sugary beverages increases visceral fat and cardiometabolic risk.