Sugary drinks and fruit juices increase the risk of premature death

Most of you know that sugary drinks are not particularly healthy, but a new study suggests that fruit juices are not much better. Furthermore, their regular consumption may shorten your life. “Older people who drink more sugary drinks, including fruit juices as well as sodas and other sugar sweetened beverages may be at risk of early death,” says the author of the study , Jean Welsh, a Professor at the medical faculty of Emory University in Atlanta.

How in fact healthy fruit juices?

“Attempts to reduce consumption of carbonated drinks and other sweetened beverages should also include fruit juices and affect both adults and children,” says Welch.

For the study, Welch and her colleagues collected data on 13 of 440 men and women, average age 64 years, who were part of a larger study of stroke from 2003 to 2007. Among these participants, 71% were overweight or obese.

Participants questioned how many sweetened drinks they consumed. For six years, on average, 1168 died. Researchers found that those who drank the most sugary drinks — including 100% fruit juice — had a higher chance of dying during the study, compared with those who drank less. Every extra liter of beverage increased the risk even more.

“Most people know that sodas and other sugar sweetened beverages including soft drinks, fruit punches and energy drinks are associated with weight gain and adverse health effects. But fruit juice is still widely perceived by many as a more healthy option,” the researchers say.

Studies have shown that sugar sweetened beverages are associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and obesity. But in the case of fruit juices the evidence is less obvious. Whole juices contain nutrients that can be beneficial to health, but also contain relatively high amounts of sugar from natural sources. And if fruit juices are associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, whole fruits — no. Scientists recommend to drink no more than 100-170 ml of juice a day.

The work was published may 17 in JAMA Network Open.

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