FOX NEWS - Soda and other sugary beverages aren't exactly known for being healthy. But now, a new study finds that sugar-sweetened beverages are tied to an increased risk of early death.
In the study, published today (March 18) in the journal Circulation, researchers analyzed information from more than 80,000 women and 37,000 men in the health profession who were followed for about three decades. Participants filled out surveys about their diet every four years, and also answered questions about their lifestyle and overall health every two years.
The more sugary beverages people drank — including soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks — the greater their risk of death was during the study period.
For example, those who drank two to six sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) per week were 6 percent more likely to die during the study period, compared with those who drank less than one SSB per month. Those who drank one to two SSBs per day were 14 percent more likely to die during the study period compared with those who drank less than one SSB per month.
The findings held even after the researchers took into account factors that could affect people's risk of premature death and disease, such as smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, and consumption of fruits, vegetables and red meat.
"Our results provide further support to limit intake of SSBs and to replace them with other beverages, preferably water, to improve overall health and longevity," study lead author Vasanti Malik, a research scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Department of Nutrition, said in a statement.
It's important to note that the study found only an association and cannot prove that drinking soda or other sugary drinks causes early death.