Sugary Drinks May Raise Women’s Heart Disease Risk

If the extra calories from sugary drinks aren’t enough to make you switch to water, consider this: drinking two or more such beverages can boost a woman’s risk for developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes whether she gains weight or not.

A study presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association showed that middle-aged women who drank two or more sodas every day carried more belly fat, which can affect blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin production.

Compared to women who drank less than one sugary beverage a day, these women also were four times more likely to have high levels of triglycerides and blood sugar levels indicative of prediabetes.

“Women who drank more than two sugar-sweetened drinks a day had increasing waist sizes, but weren’t necessarily gaining weight,” said Christina Shay, Ph.D., lead author of the study in a news release. “These women also developed high triglycerides and women with normal blood glucose levels more frequently went from having a low risk to a high risk of developing diabetes over time.”

Researchers said more study is needed to explain exactly how sugar-sweetened drinks “influence cardiovascular risk factors such as high triglycerides in individuals who do not gain weight,” the release states.

The study was conducted at Northwestern University’s Department of Preventive Medicine in Chicago. It was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Source: American Heart Association

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