Is drinking soda really as bad as smoking cigarettes?

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drinking-soda(NaturalHealth365) Drinking soda is an incredibly “normal” behavior – right?  In fact, a Gallup poll reveals that nearly half of all Americans drink soda on a daily basis – averaging 2.6 glasses per day!

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that at least 1 in 3 people in the U.S. consume this beverage regularly, which is a major source of added sugar in the standard American diet.

But just because soda is heavily marketed and hugely popular in no way means it’s not a huge issue for our country. In fact, a growing body of research links soda to so many dire health problems and an increased mortality risk that many experts and public health officials warn that drinking soda could be as dangerous of a habit as smoking.

Drinking soda dramatically increases risk of mortality and accelerated aging, major research finds

According to market research, Americans are buying fewer soft drinks.  But, the beverage – heavily marketed to children, teens, and young adults – is still being consumed too often for comfort, and a quick summary of the evidence surrounding the health effects of soda consumption help explain why:

  • A large cohort study involving data from 451, 743 people from 10 different European countries found that there was a higher all-cause mortality rate associated with soda consumption of 2 or more glasses per day. The researchers also found a positive association between artificially sweetened soft drinks (think: diet sodas) and deaths from circulatory diseases. The research was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
  • A sample of more than 5,300 American adults from the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) revealed that frequent consumption of sugary sodas was associated with shortened telomere length, which is a marker of aging (telomeres are the ends of DNA strands and act like the end-caps of shoelaces, protecting the DNA from damage). The authors, who published their findings online in 2014 through the American Journal of Public Health concluded that “regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging.”
  • Finally, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, lab tests have found a known carcinogen called 4-methylimidazole in regular and diet Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola products. The source? The process used to create that “appealing” caramel brown color, which requires both ammonia and sulfites.

It should go without saying this list isn’t all-exhaustive. In fact, there are reams of other studies showing just how bad drinking soda can be for your wellbeing and quality of life.

Here are five other dramatic health problems associated with soda consumption you should know about

Is soda a sweet treat? These five health problems linked with soda pop consumption should have you seriously re-considering whether to bring this stuff into your home:

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  1. Obesity
  2. Diabetes
  3. Depression
  4. Heart disease (one study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that drinking just one sugar-sweetened beverage per day can increase the risk of coronary artery disease by 20 percent!)
  5. Reduced fertility (in men and women)

We know that correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, but If you’re frightened by this information, you’re not alone. We actually wonder if soda and other sugary-sweetened beverages like tea and sports drinks should come with warning labels.

After all, if more people (and parents of young children especially) truly understood how harmful drinking soda can be, then hopefully more people would pass on the stuff and opt for clean water, seltzer water, and other healthier options instead.

Sources for this article include:

Huffpost.com
Cspinet.org
NIH.gov
Harvard.edu
Psychologytoday.com
Providence.org
Medicalnewstoday.com
JAMAnetwork.com