Two brand new studies indicate life-threatening diseases are strongly associated with the consumption of soft drinks. In one study diet soft drinks were linked to an increase in stroke, heart attack, and vascular death. In another study soft drinks were linked to higher rates of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Scientists at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the Columbia University Medical Center examined the risk of vascular events in relationship to consumption of both regular and diet soft drinks. Many people drink diet soft drinks because of the lack of sugar and calories, but in this study researchers determined diet soft drinks bring a much higher risk for stroke, heart attack, and other types of vascular-related death.
The study included over 2,500 men who were tracked for a ten-year period. Participants who drank diet soft drinks on a daily basis were 43% more likely to experience a vascular event. People who drank only small amounts of diet soft drinks or who drank regular soft drinks were not likely to experience these heart troubles.
In a separate study, from the University of Adelaide, scientists found a link between asthma and COPD and high levels of soft drink intake. In this study over 16,000 people were interviewed over a two-year period.
In this study “soft drinks” included, but were not limited to, the following: Coke, lemonade, flavored mineral water, Powerade, and Gatorade. Researchers determined that one in ten adults consume more than half a liter of soft drinks on a daily basis, and the more a person drank the more likely they were to have asthma or COPD.
While in both cases more study is needed to determine the exact mechanisms by which soft drink intake increases risk, it is scientifically clear that potentially negative outcomes, including chronic pulmonary diseases and vascular death, occur from high levels of soft drink consumption.