A new study led by HSPH researchers finds that drinking just one daily sugar-sweetened soda, juice drink, or energy drink may increase a man’s risk for heart disease by 20 percent. Researchers Lawrence de Koning and Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology, analyzed data from nearly 43,000 men ages 40 to 75 followed for more than 22 years in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The risk for daily sugary beverage drinkers held up even after the researchers accounted for other indicators of unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking and not exercising, in addition to family history of heart disease.
But the good news for soda drinkers is that they don’t have to give up their habit entirely. “We should treat soda as some kind of treat, not a regular event,” Hu told WebMD. “One or two a week, I don’t think that’s going to be a major problem.”
The study appeared online March 12, 2012, in the journal Circulation. Read abstract