A recent study links regular consumption of sugary beverages, including fruit juices, with an increased risk of early death.
Researchers found that people who consume 10 percent or more of their calories from sugary beverages had a 14 percent greater risk of dying earlier than those who consumed less than 5 percent of calories from these drinks.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, linked early morality to sugar-sweetened beverages, whether they be soft drinks or 100 percent natural fruit juices.
Consuming an additional 12 ounces of a generic sugary beverage was associated with an 11 percent higher risk of death by any cause. Each additional serving of fruit juice, meanwhile, was associated with a 24 percent higher risk of death.
The study’s authors explained the link between sugar consumption and mortality by pointing to other research on sugar’s effects on the body. Consumption of both sugar and fructose has been linked to cardiovascular disease, for instance.
Writing in an editorial published adjacent to the sugary beverage study, Marta Guasch-Ferré, a research scientist at Emory University, and Dr. Frank Hu of Harvard Medical School noted some of the study’s limitations. All its data was self-reported, for instance, a practice which is generally considered unreliable.
But while noting the benefits of the vitamins and minerals found in fruit juices, they generally agreed with the implications of the study’s conclusion.
“Although fruit juices may not be as deleterious as sugar-sweetened beverages, their consumption should be moderated in children and adults, especially for individuals who wish to control their body weight,” Guasch-Ferré and Hu said.
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