Latest Research Highlights: Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Health

Published in Circulation, 2019

Long-Term Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Mortality in US Adults 

Vasanti S Malik, Yanping Li, An Pan, Lawrence De Koning, Eva Schernhammer, Walter C Willet, Frank B Hu

Research from the HPFS has provided strong evidence linking intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) with long-term weight gain and risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease risk factors and other cardiometabolic conditions such as gout. In a recent analysis among over 138,000 participants in the HPFS and NHS, greater consumption of SSBs was associated with higher risk of death from any cause in a dose-response manner. Compared with drinking SSBs less than once per month, drinking 2 or more per day was associated with a 21% higher risk of overall mortality and a 31% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.  Replacing SSBs with artificially sweetened beverages was associated with a moderately lower risk of death, suggesting that ASBs may be a useful replacement for SSBs among heavy SSB consumers with the ultimate goal of switching to water.