Researchers, in a new study, have linked higher consumption of artificially sweetened drinks with greater risk of premature death.
Their finding, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine described how the international study group analysed data on 451,743 adults from 10 European countries.
The researchers noted that the findings, being an observational study, do not prove that regular soft drink consumption drives early death. However, they concluded that the results endorse health initiatives to reduce public consumption of such beverages.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, the data used in the study came from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
The study authors wrote, “On enrolment, the participants gave information about their food and drink consumption, either by filling in questionnaires or in interviews. Their average age was 51 years old, and 71 per cent were female. None had heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or stroke at the outset.”
Their analysis revealed that consuming two or more glasses per day of total, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened soft drinks were linked to a higher risk of death from all causes in comparison to consuming hardly any soft drinks. The team observed the link in both males and females.
At the study outset, the participants also answered questions about their health and lifestyle and from this information, the researchers were able to rule out any influence from factors such as physical activity, body mass index, education, smoking, and diet.
Further analysis also revealed that in comparison to consuming hardly any, drinking two or more glasses per day of artificially sweetened soft drinks was tied to a higher risk of circulatory diseases.
In the cases of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, the link was to a higher risk of death from digestive diseases.