Sugar has been known for its bad consequences on health. Of course, we’re referring to refined sugars present in many food products today including beverages.
In a recently published study1, researchers have linked sugar-sweetened drinks to increased risk of kidney disease.
Although this study only looked at black men and women, it does not mean other races are safe.
Quick Overview of the Study
In this study, researchers took a survey of African-American men and and women on their sugary drinks consumption. There were over 3000 black men and women with average age of 54 years old. And, these men and women don’t have chronic kidney disease.
After 8 to 10 years of follow up, around 6% of the participants have developed chronic kidney disease. Of course, the researchers take into account other factors that may contribute like sedentary lifestyle, diabetes and high blood pressure, smoking and obesity.
However, it was drinking mainly of sodas and fruit juices account the higher percentage in an increased risk of kidney disease. What’s even more alarming, when researchers look closely, it was soda the main culprit.
Earlier Study Had Similar Findings
This is not the first study to link sugary drinks to an increased risk of kidney disease. A study2 in 2011 had similar findings.
Consumption of ≥2 servings per day of artificially sweetened soda is associated with a 2-fold increased odds for kidney function decline in women.
Lin, J., & Curhan, G. C. (2011). Associations of sugar and artificially sweetened soda with albuminuria and kidney function decline in women. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN, 6(1), 160-6.
Moreover, Casey Rebholz of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and lead author of the study told Reuters;
These findings add to the body of literature on the adverse health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages and support recommendations to avoid their consumption.
It is widely recognized that sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and sweetened fruit drinks, should be avoided in order to reduce one’s risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease
Sugary drinks are everywhere these days. And, it’s not just black men and women are at risk but everyone who consume it including children.
One of the best ways to avoid it is eliminating it in the diet. However, it would be difficult for most people but making an effort to minimize sugar consumption is helpful.
In order for the effort of minimizing the consumption of refined sugars and foods and drinks containing it, increase intake of whole foods.
By increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, you have higher chances of success of completely eliminating refined sugar consumption. It may not be 100% but to a significant degree.
Of course, fruits contain sugar but it’s natural sugar and along with it dietary fibers and many other essential nutrients.