Study Notes Greater Incidence Of Metabolic Syndrome Among Adults Consuming Soft Drinks

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Soft Drinks

Middle-aged adults who drank more than one soft drink daily, either diet or regular, have a more than 40 percent greater rate of either having or developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk for heart diseas.

A person is considered to have metabolic syndrome if he or she has three or more of the following five risk factors: waist circumference greater than or equal to 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men), fasting blood glucose of greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL, triglycerides greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL; blood pressure greater than or equal to 135/85 mmHg, and HDL "good" cholesterol below 40mg/dL for men or below 50 mg/dL for women.


Results from the Framingham Heart Study"s "Soft Drink Consumption and Risk of Developing Cardio-Metabolic Risk Factors and the Metabolic Syndrome in Middle Aged Adults in the Community," will be published online in Circulation on July 23, 2007.

"Other studies have shown that the extra calories and sugar in soft drinks contribute to weight gain, and therefore heart disease risk," said Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., Director, NHLBI. "This study echoes those findings by extending the link to all soft drinks and the metabolic syndrome."

While the authors acknowledge that the increased risk of metabolic syndrome associated with high-calorie, high-sugar regular soft drinks might be expected, the similar risk found among those drinking diet sodas is more challenging to understand, they say. It is worth noting that dietary patterns are similar across drinkers of both regular and diet soft drinks.

"Although our study adjusted for lifestyle factors, it is known that people who regularly drink soft drinks