A new study has warned that over consumption of soft drinks -even diet ones— may increase risks of early death.
The study, which was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine this week, included data from nearly half a million people in Europe. “It is the largest of its kind,” the authors said.
According to researchers, people who consumed two or more glasses of soda per day — either regular or diet — were 17% more likely to die during the nearly two-decade study, compared with people who consumed less than one glass of soda per month, the study found.
The findings held even after the researchers considered factors that could affect people’s risk of premature death and disease, such as smoking, alcohol use, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, calorie intake and consumption of fruits, vegetables and processed meats.
Still, the study only found an association and cannot prove that soda consumption actually causes early death.
The study adds to a growing body of research linking soda consumption with an increased risk of chronic disease and early death. In March, a different group of researchers published a study in the journal Circulation that found a link between the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and an increased risk of early death among U.S. men and women. That study also found that consuming large amounts of diet beverages was linked with an increased risk of early death among women.
Interestingly, people who frequently consumed diet sodas were more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease; while people who frequently consumed sugar-sweetened sodas were more likely to die from digestive diseases, such as diverticulitis or liver diseases, compared with those who rarely consumed soft drinks.