I spent a good portion of last week in Kansas City attending the American Academy of Family Physician's Annual Leadership Forum. During every break & meal, soda was available as a refreshment. On the flight there & back, soda was offered as an option. At our local big box convenience store, a large cup of soda is available for less than a dollar w/free refills. With such an easy way to obtain calories w/o nutritional value, it's no wonder that the ranks of the overweight & obese continues to increase. But apparently that's not enough to change our soda consumption habits much as measured in tens of billions of dollars sold annually. Well, what if soda consumption was related to stroke risk?
analysis of two prospective cohorts, the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, published last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the authors concluded that greater consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages & even low-calorie sodas was associated w/increase risk of stroke. What's scary is that the cut-off for harm was low at 1 can/d. Those who drank one or more cans of soda had a 16% increase risk of stroke compared to those who didn't drink it. Switching to low-calorie drinks did not improve stroke risk, still measured at 16% greater in higher consumers compared to those who didn't drink any.
On the other hand, coffee drinkers, both caffeinated & decaffeinated, can rejoice as the authors demonstrated a 9-10% reduced risk of stroke when comparing those who drank (decaffeinated) coffee daily to those who didn't. The findings are robust in that 84,085 women were followed for 28 years and 43,371 men were followed for 22 years. Of note, both sexes in the various groups were an average 58yo.
So think twice before ordering a drink to consume w/your meal the next time you're out & about. Even that sugar-free option doesn't offer you any benefit.