A UVA Heart & Vascular Center Initiative

Sugary Drinks and Coronary Artery Disease: Is There a Link?

Posted May 01, 2014

25 percent of all Americans drink the equivalent of one can of soda per day*. But a study released in 2014 by Harvard School of Public Health may make you think twice about your beverage choice.

Why is a daily sweet drink so bad? 

The research from Harvard, published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation , revealed that men who consumed one 12-oz. sugary drink a day had a 20 percent higher risk of coronary artery disease. These results echo a 2009 Nurses’ Health Study that found that women increased their risk of heart attack by 23 percent when they consume up to two sugary drinks per day.

Some nutritionists believe those who drink more sugary drinks may have bad health habits overall so the expendable calories that come from sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks and more may just be icing on an already unhealthy cake. However, with these studies and others linking high-sugar beverages to chronic conditions like weight gain and diabetes, cutting down on soda is a good first step toward healthier eating.

*Source: A 2011 report by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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