According to WHO 19 million people die each year from cardiometabolic diseases. The cardiometabolic diseases include cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 Diabetes mellitus.
The several risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases include smoking, diabetes, hypertension, physical inactivity, obesity and unhealthy diet. According to 2010 study, unhealthy diet including sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and and cardiovascular disease.
Recently published paper in Journal of Endocrine Society by Dr. Essop et al examined 36 studies to find relationship between intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (such as juice and soda) and risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension.
Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome includes excess fat around the waist, hypertension, high blood glucose and high cholesterol. Most of the studies examined in the review showed relationship between risk of metabolic syndrome with sugar-sweetened beverages. People who consumed one or more sugary drink per day were at significantly high risk for metabolic syndrome. This risk is more in women as compared to men. There can be changes in metabolism of the body leading to increased bad cholesterol (LDL), triglycerides and fasting blood glucose levels. A 2012 NEJM study showed that body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and body fat percentage increased significantly in the children drinking sugar containing beverages.
Risk of Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition in which body is not able to metabolize blood glucose properly. Prediabetes is a medical condition in which blood glucose is higher than normal but not as diabetes range. In the review article, 9 studies looked at risk of diabetes/Prediabetes and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Some studies showed 40% more risk of developing diabetes with even as little as 2 sugar-sweetened beverages per week. Daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to excessive fat accumulation leading to insulin resistance and development of diabetes.
Risk of Hypertension
Hypertension is high blood pressure in the body and is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages cause inflammation, hypertension and dyslipidemia. One study of 5100 patients showed more than 50% increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure with almost daily use of sugar-sweetened beverages. Another study showed 74% higher risk of developing hypertension if more than three sugar-sweetened beverages are consumed a day.
The main conclusions from the study paper of Dr. Essop
- Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is Rising globally.
- 50% more risk of Hypertension with daily use of sugar-sweetened beverages.
- 40% more risk of developing diabetes with even as little as 2 sugar-sweetened beverages per week.
- Need for educational programs to inform the general public of the harmful effects.
Reference: 1. Frequent Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption and the Onset of Cardiometabolic Diseases: Cause for Concern? https://academic.oup.com/jes/article/1/11/1372/4587524
2. A trial of sugar-free or sugar-sweetened beverages and body weight in children. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22998340
3. Sugar-sweetened beverages and prevalence of the metabolically abnormal phenotype in the Framingham Heart Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24550031