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Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Men who consume sugary drink risk heart disease  

GBENGA ADENIJI writes about a new study indicating that men who consume sugar-sweetened beverage a day are risking heart disease

 Most people find it easy to drink sugary substance than take any bitter liquid. But a new research has revealed that individuals especially men who drink sugar-sweetened beverage a day increase their risk of heart disease.

It shows that naturally, sugar-sweetened beverages cause many health problems- including obesity and diabetes. And that taking one daily adds one more potential risk to the list: coronary disease. 

According to the study, men who drink one sugar-sweetened beverage daily have a 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease than men who drink none. 

The researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health tracked nearly 43,000 participants in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which included male dentists, pharmacists, physicians, veterinarians and other health professionals ages 40 to 75, almost all of whom were of European descent. 

For 22 years, the men filled out surveys about their diets and other health habits. The researchers also collected blood samples from more than 18,000 men who were demographically similar to those in the survey. 

The results, published in the American Heart Association's journal, Circulation, discovered that drinking 12 ounces of regular soda, fruit drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages daily was associated with a higher risk of heart disease. 

This, it adds, is even after taking into account other cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use and a family history of heart disease. 

A professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and the lead author of the study, Dr. Frank Hu, said the findings were significant because even relatively modest consumption of sugary beverages - just one drink per day - was associated with an increased risk of heart disease. 

Hu says, "These drinks should be treated as a treat, not for all the time."
The study specifically categorised sugar-sweetened beverages to include regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and sugar-sweetened water. 

Also, a 2011 report from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 25 per cent of Americans drink the equivalent of more than one can of soda each day. 

The study states that men who drank daily sugar-sweetened beverages had certain markers of cardiovascular disease in their blood, including higher levels of lipids like triglycerides and lower levels of HDL, or "good," cholesterol. 

Hu adds that increase in these markers could show certain revelations about the biological mechanisms that may connect sugary drinks and heart disease.
It is however not only men's affair as previous researches have indicated that the link between sugary drinks and heart disease may also exist for women.
The latest study's findings observe those of a study of nearly 89,000 women, the Nurses' Health Study, which Hu and his colleagues published in 2009.
That study discovered that women who drank one or less than two sugary drinks per day had a 23 per cent increased risk of a heart attack
It is vital to state that the new study didn't find a nexus between diet drinks and cardiovascular disease, and past studies didn't link diet drinks with an increase in diabetes risk or weight gain.
This, the study suugests, may be because people who choose diet drinks might be more likely to develop better diets and healthier lifestyles overall.
According to the study, men who drank diet soda often got more exercise and smoked less. Some nutrition experts however hesitate to suggest that people simply replace sugar-sweetened beverages with diet drinks due to the lack of evidence about the prolonged effects of artificial sweeteners.
Some researches also suggest that diet soda can condition the taste buds to crave sweets, leading to higher sugar intake in other parts of the diet.
It is even stated that growing soda habit leads to untimely death for many Americans. According to an analysis from the University of California, San Francisco, about six thousand deaths over the last decade could have been avoided if Americans drank less soda and sugary beverages.
The analysis found out that America's growing addiction to sweet drink has increased health outcomes such as heart disease and diabetes including higher health care costs.
The new analysis, presented at the American Heart Association's 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, gives an insight into the extent of damage the consumption of sugary drinks can be.
Employing the use of a computer model and data from the Framingham Heart Study, the Nurses Health Study and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers estimated that the increasing consumption between 1990 and 2000 of soda and sugar-sweetened beverages, which they shortened as "SSBs," led to 75,000 new cases of diabetes and 14,000 new cases of heart disease.
They note, " What's more, the burden of the diseases translated into $300m to $550m increase in health care costs between 2000 and 2010. The model is really important because it gives us a big picture that might serve as a more effective impetus for health policies to curb consumption."
The lead author and internal medicine resident at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Litsa Lambrakos said, "A lot of people drink these drinks on a daily basis and they have little to no nutritional value. We want the public to know that they should not be considered a staple of the American diet."
Besides, Lambrakos said date from Soda Pop Culture show that more Americans are drinking soda or other sugary drinks on a daily basis- and having larger contents, more consistently- than ever before, Lambrakos said.
The analysis noted that 21,000 years of potential life were lost to Americans over the last decade when increased consumption of the drinks led to premature death.
There is also a disclosure that it is not just the amount of sugar in the beverages that matter, but its kind.
Lambrakos added that a study noted that people drinking soda or SSBs had an increased risk of diabetes while those drinking similar calorie and sugar loads of 100 per cent fruit juice had no such increased risk.
The beverage industry however faulted the claim, saying, "Heart disease and diabetes are complex problems with no single cause and no simple solutions. Consuming sugar-sweetened beverages is not a risk factor" for either condition."

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Hello from
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Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

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ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

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He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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