Wondering Why Is Soda Bad For You? This Fact May Surprise You

Soda can dramatically raise your risk for diabetesIt isn’t news that sugar-sweetened beverages like soda aren’t the healthiest drink choices out there. But some people might be left wondering, is soda really that terrible? Recent research gives some shocking results on how as little as one soda per day can raise your risk for developing diabetes.

The link between soda and diabetes: the numbers are alarming

A study published in the journal BMJ in July 2015 pooled data from 17 studies (including over 38,000 cases) that examined the link between soda and diabetes risk. The researchers found that adding just one more serving of sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, to your day can increase your likelihood of getting type 2 diabetes by 18%. That is a huge number for a seemingly inconsequential amount of a drink.[1]

Think that if you are lean or normal weight you’re safe? Think again

Type 2 diabetes is often associated with being overweight or obese. And people who are in the normal weight range, or who are even lean, might think they don’t have a chance of developing diabetes. But you can still be vulnerable to getting the disease if you have unhealthy habits—like drinking soda.

Even thin people have a 13% higher risk of developing diabetes if they drink soda each day.[1]

Artificially sweetened drinks and fruit juices aren’t necessarily safe alternatives

The authors of the study also looked at artificially sweetened drinks (like diet sodas) and fruit juices, which may be mistakenly viewed as healthier alternatives. They found that one serving per day of both artificially sweetened drinks and fruits juices were associated with a much higher risk of diabetes.[1]

Artificial sweeteners are also linked to weight gain (the opposite of the desired effect) and may lead to symptoms of depression.

Why Is Soda Bad for You? Diabetes Is Just the Beginning

Soda isn’t just bad for your blood sugar; it is also bad for your heart, bones, brain, kidneys, liver, and more. Read about 7 serious side effects of drinking soda in What Does Soda Do to Your Body?

And it doesn’t take long for the dangerous effects of soda drinking to take root. Just two weeks of drinking soda can increase your risk of heart disease.

How to quit drinking soda

If you currently drink soda, it’s time to make a change. Try slowly cutting back on your consumption until you are soda-free. Once your body gets used to it and you stop craving the sugar-sweetened beverages, you’ll feel better and you won’t even miss them.

Learn about 6 steps to successfully quit your soda habit here.

Share your experience

Do you have any tips for cutting back on soda habits? Share your tips for success in the comments section below.


[1] BMJ. 2015 Jul 21;351:h3576.

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UHN Staff

University Health News is produced by the award-winning editors and authors of Belvoir Media Group’s Health & Wellness Division. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., with editorial offices in Florida, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, … Read More

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