The people of Syracuse, New York as is true of people elsewhere are inundated with conflicting messages about the health value of soft drinks. Now research has shown there is a link between drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks and an increase in new cases of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Richard Alleyne, the Science Correspondent for Telegraph.co.uk, has reported on this research. Daily more people now drink soft, sport and fruit drinks and this increase has led to thousands of more cases of diabetes and heart disease over the past decade, according to research presented to the American Heart Association’s annual conference. This study estimates the increased consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks between 1990 and 2000 has contributed to 130,000 new cases of diabetes, 14,000 new cases of coronary heart disease (CHD), and 50,000 additional life-years burdened by coronary heart disease in the US over the past decade. The drinks, which exclude 100 per cent fruit juice, contain between 120 to 200 calories per drink and are associated in the rising tide of obesity.
Now researchers are calling for a health tax on soft drinks to pay for the increase costs of treating victims of coronary disease and diabetes. Dr Litsa Lambrakos, of the University of California, has commented: “We can demonstrate an association between daily consumption of sugared beverages and diabetes risk. We can then translate this information into estimates of the current diabetes and cardiovascular disease that can be attributed to the rise in consumption of these drinks.”
It is estimated over the last decade, at least 6,000 excess deaths from any cause and 21,000 life-years lost can be attributed in the United States to the increase in consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks. Health policy experts have suggested curbing the consumption of sugared drinks through an excise tax of one cent per ounce of beverage, which would be expected to decrease consumption of these drinks by 10 per cent. Professor Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, senior author of the study at the University of California, has commented: “If such a tax could curb the consumption of these drinks, the health benefits could be dramatic.”
And Dr Lambrakos has gone on to say : “We want to make the general public more aware of the adverse health outcomes of consuming these drinks over time. We want to help support disease prevention and curb consumption of these drinks that lead to poor health outcomes and increased health care costs for the average American.”
And so the next time you are shopping for your family at Price Chopper if you want to buy soft drinks consider buying sugar free soft drinks. You and your family will be all the healthier for this.
Mandel Alternative Medicine News Service www.mandelnews.com