As studies continue to emerge that drinking soda—yes, even the diet ones—is legitimately terrible for most people, soda companies are trying everything from de-carbonating fizzy drinks to declaring their wares the official drink of U.S. states.
Now, yet another study has concluded that everyone really, really needs to work on cutting soda, sports drinks, and other sugary libations out of their diets. Researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health have found that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) contribute to a higher risk of early death from “any cause”:
Compared with drinking SSBs less than once per month, drinking one to four sugary drinks per month was linked with a 1 percent increased risk; two to six per week with a 6 percent increase; one to two per day with a 14 percent increase; and two or more per day with a 21 percent increase. The increased early death risk linked with SSB consumption was more pronounced among women than among men.
That’s significant, because it means more soda—even just two per week—is linked to increased risk of early death. Researchers also found a “particularly strong link” between SSBs and cardiovascular disease:
Compared with infrequent SSB drinkers, those who drank two or more servings per day of SSBs had a 31 percent higher risk of early death from CVD. Each additional serving per day of SSBs was linked with a 10 percent increased higher risk of CVD-related death.
Among both men and women, a “modest link” was also found between the regular drinking of SSBs and early cancer risks. The study does note that it was adjusted for diet and lifestyle factors, which means that the findings may not be absolute depending on one’s general health, but it’s yet more proof of what parents have been telling their kids for years: soda is not your friend.