Soft drinks branded ‘evil’ in new study

We are all drinking far more soft drinks than we used to, according to a new study undertaken by Bangor University. Many of us are now having one to two cans a day and as reported in last weeks article on Medical Specialists News; we are increasingly using sports drinks such as Lucozade whilst engaging in sports activities or visiting the gym. In fact, it is no surprise to learn that our consumption of soft drinks has more than doubled since 1985 from 10 gallons per person a year to more than 25 gallons.

Now we all know that soft drinks aren’t necessarily good for you but could they be more dangerous than we thought and in many more ways than we thought. In fact, are they that dangerous that they should carry a health warning?

That may sound a little alarming but not to Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, the man behind the Bangor University study. Dr Kubis stated, “Having seen all the medical evidence, I don’t touch soft drinks now; I think drinks with added sugar are frankly evil.”

Even moderate consumption of one can a day or just two a week may alter our metabolism so that we pile on weight. The research at Bangor University and also published in the European Journal of nutrition reported that soft drinks actually alter our metabolism so that our muscles use sugar for energy instead of burning fat. It seems that exposure to liquid sugar not only results in weight gain but that it also changes our metabolism and genes within our muscles perhaps permanently, leaving us less able to cope with rises in blood sugar. This in turn increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

This research into soft drinks carried out at Bangor University is nothing new; in fact it is one in a long line of studies that have looked into the dangers of soft drinks. A study in March published in the American Heart Association’s journal, warned that men who drank one standard 12 oz can of sweetened beverage a day have a 20% higher risk of heart disease.

Perhaps most disturbing is the effect these sugary drinks are having on children. Four years ago, researchers at University College London’s Health Behaviour Research Centre, discovered a powerful and lucrative effect that sugary soft drinks have on youngsters. The study of 346 children aged around 11, found drinking soft drinks makes them want to drink more often even when they’re not actually thirsty and that their preference is for more sugary drinks.

Perhaps Dr Kubis highlighted the extent of the problem when acknowledging that he needed to do a much larger trial. His main problem was that he had difficulty in finding young people who had not previously been exposed to a lot of soft drinks.

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