Regular consumption of soft drinks — both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened — was associated with a greater risk of all causes of death, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Participants who drank two or more glasses of soft drinks per day had a higher risk of mortality than those who consumed less than one glass per month.
The study, one of the largest of its kind, tracked 451,743 women and men from 10 countries in Europe. It found that consumption of two or more glasses of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day was positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases. For sugar-sweetened soft drinks, one or more glasses a day were associated with deaths from digestive diseases, including diseases of the liver, appendix, pancreas, and intestines.
Similar results have been shown in recent studies but the researchers cautioned that elevated soft drink consumption may be a marker for an overall unhealthy lifestyle.
‘‘In our study, high soft drinks consumers had a higher body mass index and were also more likely to be current tobacco smokers,’’ said the study’s chief researcher, Neil Murphy of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
The researchers saw similar associations in smokers and nonsmokers, as well as in lean and obese participants, which indicates that the soft drink and mortality association is not strongly influenced by smoking habits and BMI.