Sugar. It’s a substance that modern society and the western culture seem addicted to. Fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolates and even fast food – sugar is packed into everything these days! Used as a flavor enhancer, sweetener and preservative, the use of sugar in food has continued to rise and so it’s no surprise that health problems such as diabetes, obesity and heart conditions have also shot up too. We’re already aware of how sugar can wreak havoc upon blood sugar levels, contribute to the build-up of plaque in the heart and invoke hyperactivity in children; however a new study has found that drinking sugary drinks may in fact directly reduce our lifespan.
What did the study show?
The research study carried out by a Californian University revealed that people who drank sugary drinks (soda or soft drinks in this particular case) had a shorter length of something called ‘telomeres’. Telomeres are units that act as protectors which effectively cap the cells of chromosomes. This is related to lifespan because the length of these telomeres (inside the white blood cells) had previously thought to be related to the human lifespan. Although further studies are needed to extend the data and trends displayed by this experiment, it could be very clear that drinking sugary drinks speeds up the process of aging and causes cells to grow older in a shorter span of time than they normally would. Perhaps cutting down on soda is in order?
What other reasons are there against the drinking of sugary drinks?
Below there is a list of other reasons why drinking sugary drinks can be detrimental to your health:
- Metabolism Alterations – Sugary drinks change the metabolic rate of your body, making it more difficult for fat to be burnt and for weight loss to occur.
- Increased Heart Attack Risk – The deposition of plaque within coronary blood vessels is increased with foods or drinks that are high in sugar or fat
- High Phosphorus Content – Some soft drinks contain high levels of phosphorus that is also linked to shortened lifespans.
- Gaining Weight – Diets high in sugary drinks are more likely to result in you becoming overweight or obese.
- Diabetes – Those who drink high volumes of sugary drinks also increase their chances of developing health problems associated with blood sugar level issues
- Carcinogens – There has also been some discussion over whether colas contain carcinogens (cancer causing chemical)
What is being done to restrict daily sugar intake?
More food and drink companies are now offering versions of their most popular products with reduced sugar levels, to encourage a decrease in daily sugar intake. The World Health Organization suggests that we should be cutting our daily sugar intake by at least 12 teaspoons in order to reduce our risk of becoming overweight or developing weight-related health problems.