1 Daily Soda May Boost Heart Disease
Researchers Point Finger at Diet, Regular Sodas; Industry Officials Disagree
Soda Industry Strikes Back
In a prepared statement, the soft drink industry took issue with the
findings. "Blaming one food, beverage, or ingredient as the cause for
myriad health problems defies common sense and doesn't agree with the current
body of nutritional science," says Susan K. Neely, president and chief
executive officer of the American Beverage Association.
The Washington, D.C.-based industry group represents many companies that
make and distribute nonalcoholic beverages in the U.S.
"Metabolic syndrome and heart disease are complex problems that have no
single cause and no single solution," the statement continues. Soft
drinks can be part of a healthy way of life "when consumed in moderation
and as part of a balanced lifestyle," it states.
“We’re underscoring the point the researchers make that it’s an association,
not causal,” Neely tells WebMD. “The association found between diet soda and
metabolic syndrome is particularly implausible. Diet soda is a beverage with
zero calories, and it is 99% water.”
Diet Soda "a Good Option"
In a prepared statement issued Monday, the American Heart Association
(AHA) also notes that the study does not prove cause and effect.
More study is needed on sodas before formal recommendations can be made,
according to the AHA. Until then, the association views diet soda as “a good
option to replace caloric beverages that do not contain important vitamins and
minerals.” Diet soda, along with water and fat-free or low-fat milk, are better
choices than full calorie soft drinks, according to the AHA.
Is there a "safe" amount of soda? "We cannot really answer that
question," Vasan says. The research shows an association between soda
consumption and metabolic syndrome risk, Vasan says, but not cause-effect. More
study is needed.
Still, he adds, "the group without risk drank less than one soda a
His co-author, Ravi Dhingra, MD, a physician at the Alice Peck Day Memorial
Hospital, in Lebanon, N.H., and instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical
School in Boston, says: "If you are drinking more than one soft drink per
day, you may be increasing the metabolic risk factors for heart
- Do you drink more than one soda a day? And if you do, could
you stop at one soda a day if it meant you could decrease your risk for
heart disease? Tell us on the WebMD Health Cafe message board.