It was seven years ago, in 2011, that the UN first declared that noncommunicable diseases — like diabetes and heart disease — now pose a greater threat to world health than infectious diseases. And ever since then, I’ve been waiting for people to start taking this threat seriously.
Needless to say, that still hasn’t happened. Which is why I was so shocked when I came across a new study citing the link between sugary drinks and cardiometabolic disease as a “cause for concern.”
That’s putting it rather mildly. But I’ll take it — because yes, this connection absolutely should “concern” everyone.
Cardiometabolic disease covers a range of chronic conditions — including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. And as I’m always reminding you, obesity — driven in no small part by our love affair with sugary drinks — is fueling this deadly epidemic.
But for anyone who needs more proof, this latest study certainly delivers.
All except one of the 36 studies in this review showed that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages boosts risk of metabolic syndrome by as much as 75 percent.
I was also pleased to see that the authors pointed the finger at artificially sweetened drinks, and fruit juices, too. (In case anyone still had any misconceived notions that they’re healthier alternatives.)
Some other unsurprising findings: Sugary drinks were linked to increases in weight, BMI, waist size, waist-to-hip ratio, and body fat. These beverages were also linked to higher LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, and uric acid levels.
Analysis showed that daily consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks boosted body fat — including in the liver — within six months.
In fact, as few as two sugar-sweetened beverages per week was enough to elevate risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and pre-diabetes.
This is a huge problem — pardon the pun — because sugary beverage consumption has skyrocketed in recent years.
Yet another reason to stick to water. If you want to add flavor, try throwing some berries or pieces of melon into your glass. You’ll get all of the sweetness — without all the risk.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Sugar kills. We need to shout it from the rooftops. Better yet, we need a full-on media blitz to educate the general public on the lethal effects of every type of sugary drink, from sweet tea to fruit juice.
It worked with tobacco. And at the end of the day, this deadly beast is no different.
P.S. – If you’d like more handy tips on how to cut added sugar from your diet for good, check out my latest book, The A-List Diet. (I’m can’t wait to release the paperback version next month… stay tuned!)