Study Links This Much Soda Per Week to Greater Risk of Heart Condition


A new study, published on Tuesday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, found a correlation between drinking just two liters, or about seven cans, of soda per week and increased risk of long-term heart health issues.

Chinese scientists examined 200,000 British adults over 10 years to obtain their results. They determined that those who drink more than two liters of artificially sweetened, sugary beverages per week are 20 percent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation than those who abstain from drinking soda.

Atrial fibrillation, better known as AFIB, is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) which begins in the heart’s upper chambers. It’s the cause of roughly 158,000 deaths each year in North America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some are saying that the study has its share of blind spots, though, and so are hesitant to definitely draw the line between soda consumption and heart disease. Ningjian Wang, the study’s lead author from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in Shanghai, alluded to this in his remarks accompanying the results.

“Our study’s findings cannot definitively conclude that one beverage poses more health risk than another due to the complexity of our diets and because some people may drink more than one type of beverage,” he explained. “However, based on these findings, we recommend that people reduce or even avoid artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverages whenever possible.”

He further advised: “Do not take it for granted that drinking low-sugar and low-calorie artificially sweetened beverages is healthy, it may pose potential health risks.”

Regardless of the study’s veracity, a number of reports have emerged lately heralding the dangers of soda consumption. A study published in January in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition came to more or less the same conclusion.

It found that participants who drank two or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day, but still met the CDC-recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, nonetheless had a 21 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to those who rarely or never consumed sugar-sweetened beverages.

These results come hot on the heels of the World Health Organization (WHO) naming aspartame, the common sweetener used in Diet Coke, a cancer-causing carcinogen.

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