Sweetened drinks: the effect on our well-being!

Sweetened drinks: the effect on our well-being!

The effects on our body of sugary drinks

The number of publications showing an increase in obesity and a negative effect on health related to the consumption of sugary drinks is growing.

Obesity is associated with pathologies such as cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes and cancer, with an estimated 184,000 number of deaths in 2010. This alarming figure has led health organizations to stem the global obesity epidemic by limiting the consumption of high-calorie foods. One of the “incriminated” products – and therefore the subject of numerous studies – is sugar, whose uses in foods and especially in beverages are constantly growing

In this regard, the World Health Organization (O.M.S.) recommends reducing the intake of sugar to less than 5% of calories (corresponding to about 25 g in the adult). At the moment, however, the official limit has remained at 10% of the total daily calories.

Following the awareness of consumers and the application in some countries of taxes on the production of sugary drinks, the producers have tried to modify the types of sugars present in the drinks. The results of these changes were the well-known sugar-free beverages, which generally no longer present classic sugar (sucrose, but also glucose and fructose), but rather synthetic sweeteners with little or no caloric intake.

The emergence of the use of new types of sweeteners has included in the focus of scientific research also on the health effects of the use of these alternative sweeteners in beverages.

The news on the correlation between mortality and intake of sugary drinks published in the Jama magazine

A few days ago, in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), a very interesting study was published, conducted in Europe, on the association between the consumption of sugary drinks and mortality for all causes or specific diseases. In 1992, this study involved more than 400,000 people from all over the old continent and monitored over the next 8 years the quantities of sweetened beverages consumed, the diseases and causes of death from disease that occurred in this period of time.

The sugary drinks taken into consideration in the study are of two types: those with added sugar (mainly sucrose, glucose and fructose) and those with artificial sweeteners.

At the end of the study, the results obtained showed that in general the high consumption of sweetened beverages increases the risk of mortality from all causes, regardless of the type of sweetener used. Furthermore, it appears that the consumption of beverages with simple sugars is correlated to mortality due to diseases of the digestive system, while those artificially sweetened to cardiovascular diseases (table 4 of the pub).

The results of this scientific publication further strengthen public health awareness campaigns implemented in Europe with the aim of limiting the consumption of softened beverages with any type of sugar.

N.d.R.: The consumer should therefore also pay attention to the “sugar-free” writings that appear on the packaging of the products because, almost certainly, the foods in question will contain sweeteners of different nature or without calories, but not for this reason devoid of health effects.

Edited by the Lipinutragen Editorial Board
made up of F. Bonucci (nutritionist biologist), C. Ferreri (CNR Senior Researcher) and R. Rinaldi (Marketing Manager)

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