Middle-aged adults who regularly consume soft drinks have a 48% greater risk of having or developing metabolic syndrome than those who don't, according to data from the Framingham Heart Study. Soft drink consumption has been linked to obesity and other problems in children and adolescents, but the association in adults has been unclear.
Researchers analyzed data taken from two evaluations between 1998 and 2001. The data included 8,997 "person observations." All subjects were in their mid-50s and free from metabolic syndrome at baseline.
Besides having a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, those who drank at least one soft drink daily had significantly higher risks of developing obesity, high blood triglycerides or high fasting blood glucose, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Whether they drank diet or regular soft drinks didn't matter.
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After controlling for saturated and trans fat consumption, dietary fiber intake, smoking, and physical activity, researchers found that soft drink consumption was still significantly linked to metabolic syndrome and other health problems.
Dhingra R, et al., Soft drink consumption and risk of developing cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in middle-aged adults in the community, Circulation, published online before print July 23, 2007.