Regular Soda Could Cause Fatty Health Problems

Everyone knows chugging sugary sodas all day long can make you fat.  Now scientists report that the effect of drinking them could be much worse than just adding a few pounds.  They can pile fat on around the internal organs, rather than just adding inches to the waistline, a condition that increases the danger of heart disease and diabetes.

This so-called “ectopic” fat is not obvious, and the person may have a normal BMI, but because the fat is deposited so close to the heart and other major organs, it can have deadly results.  One consequence may be non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and diabetes risk is hugely increased.  One recent study showed that Chinese people who appeared slim and had a lower BMI were much more prone to diabetes because of ectopic fat deposition.

Sodas can be loaded with sugar and calories.  The best selling brand of cola has 108g of sugar and 400 calories to the liter; other sodas may have even more.  Because the taste is pleasant, the drinker may drink more of the soda than he would water or other healthier beverage, which means he is consuming even more calories and sugar.  Some sodas contain quite high amounts of caffeine as well, which can cause the body to expel water by increasing urinary output.  The person may then feel still thirstier and drink more soda – and a cycle is formed.

Now a new study has shown that drinking a liter a day of a regular non-diet soda can add to the build up of fat around the organs, in the liver and in the muscles, dramatically increasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

The Danish researchers atAarhusUniversityHospital, Skejby, recruited 47 overweight or obese people to take part in the study.  Some were asked to drink a liter of regular cola every day for six months, while others were told to drink diet cola, milk, or water.

Team leader Dr Bjorn Richelsen reported that the drinkers of non-diet cola had 25% more fat around their internal organs and had almost doubled the percentage of fat in their livers and muscles at the end of the experiment.  However, they had not gained more weight than the subjects who drank diet cola, milk, and water.  Dr Richelsen thought this might be because they ate less because of the calories in the cola.

Moreover, Dr Richelsen had worse news for cola-loving Americans.  In the US, sodas are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, and Dr Richelsen said it is clear the fructose component of the sucrose molecule is responsible for the synthesis of sugar into fat in the liver.

Soda drinkers should limit their consumption to three cans or less a week, says the American Heart Association, and some US states have considered the idea of “soda taxes” to increase the price and discourage drinking of unhealthy canned drinks.

It is easy to reduce your consumption a step at a time if you are concerned at the amount of sugary soda you drink.  Substitute coffee or, better still, fruit flavored spring water for one drink a day, then gradually cut out the soda and replace it with the healthier drinks.

Next Post → ← Previous Post