Sugary Soft Drinks, Sports Drinks Trigger Long Term Health Problems

by Thilaka Ravi on Aug 1 2012 10:54 AM

Sugary Soft Drinks, Sports Drinks Trigger Long Term Health Problems
We are often tempted to drink soft drinks and even 'healthy' sports aids bought from vending machines at the gym, but medical evidences show that they can ruin our health in the long run.
Experts say even moderate consumption of sugary soft drinks - a can a day, or just two a week - may alter our metabolism so that we pile on weight.

The drinks also appear to increase the risk of heart disease, liver failure and hypertension.

In children, soft drinks have been linked to addict-like cravings, as well as twisting kids' appetites so they hunger for junk food, the Daily Mail reported.

Sugary soft drinks come in numerous guises - from 'innocuous' fizzy elderflower to 'health' drinks such as Lucozade and 'sports' beverages like Gatorade.

Last week, a study by Bangor University and published in the European Journal Of Nutrition suggested soft drinks can cause weight gain and long-term health problems if drunk every day for as little as a month.

It reported that soft drinks actually alter metabolism, so that our muscles use sugar for energy instead of burning fat. ot only do we pile on weight, but our metabolism becomes less efficient and less able to cope with rises in blood sugar, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, said the researchers.

"Having seen all the medical evidence, I don't touch soft drinks now. I think drinks with added sugar are, frankly, evil," said Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, a biological scientist and expert in exercise nutrition who led the research.

The Bangor study is not the only one that linked soft drinks and serious health problems.

Earlier in March, a study has warned that men who drink a standard 12oz can of sugar-sweetened beverage every day have a 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who don't drink any sugar-sweetened drinks.

The research was published in the American Heart Association's journal, Circulation.

Another study reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found just two carbonated drinks (330ml each) every week appears to double the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Meanwhile, soft drinks with high levels of fruit juice may cause severe long-term liver damage, according to an Israeli study.

People who drank two cans of these drinks a day were five times more likely to develop fatty liver disease - a precursor to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

In the Journal of Hepatology, the lead investigator, Dr Nimer Assy, warned high levels of fructose fruit sugar in the drinks can overwhelm the liver, leading it to accumulate fat.

Perhaps most disturbing is the picture emerging from various studies that suggest sugary drinks expose children to a perfect storm of obesity threats.

Four years ago, researchers at University College London's Health Behaviour Research Centre found drinking soft drinks makes children aged around 11 want to drink more often, even when they're not actually thirsty - and that their preference is for more sugary drinks.

More recent research suggested fizzy drinks might sway children's tastes towards high-calorie, high-salt food.

And a study in the British Dental Journal found four cans of fizzy drink a day increased the risk of tooth erosion by 252 per cent.