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Sweetened Drinks May Pose Heart Risks to Women

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Heart imageIf you are in that pre-contemplation stage of behavior change and just can’t seem to give up soda or sugar sweetened beverages, here’s your new incentive.

A new study presented at the American Heart Association’s  annual meeting suggests that drinking two or more sugar sweetened beverages a day may boost a woman’s risk for developing heart disease and to have abnormal blood glucose levels indicating pre-diabetes even if this habit is not causing her to gain weight. The study evaluated more than 4,000 people aged 45-84 and showed that middle aged women who drank two or more sugary beverages a day were close to four times as likely when compared to women who drank less than one sugar sweetened beverage a day to have:

  • high levels of triglycerides
  • be pre-diabetic, and
  • have more belly fat (not necessarily more weight)

It is a known fact that abdominal obesity poses greater health risks than fat accumulated in other areas of the body because it lies deep inside and can negatively affect blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin production. Strangely enough, the same findings were not seen in men, but this is likely due to the fact that women require less energy, are generally smaller than men, and also have less muscle mass.

The take-away message from this study is that if you are an American middle aged women that drinks two or more sugar sweetened beverages a day, you should start to cut back now before it's too late. This is something that you can control. There are many things in life we are genetically predisposed to or unfortunate incidences we have no control over, but eliminating sodas is an easy way you can help improve your health. Start by reducing one soda a week. You never know, you may end up eliminating soda completely from your diet!

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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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