Drinking excessive fruit juice increases early death risk than soda

Henrietta Strickland
May 20, 2019

The new study defined "sugary beverages" as both sugar-sweetened thirst-quenchers, like soda and fruit-flavored infusions, and 100% natural fruit juices that have no added sugar.

To put it simply, those who consumed the most sugar-sweetened beverages, including 100 per cent fruit juice had higher odds of dying during the course of the study, when compared with those who drank the least of these.

After analyzing their health records, it was found that an additional 354 ml serving of sugary beverages per day was associated an 11 per cent higher all-cause mortality risk, while each additional 354 ml serving of fruit juice was associated with a whopping 24 per cent higher all-cause mortality risk.

"Efforts to decrease consumption of sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages should also include fruit juices, and these efforts need to include adults as well as children", Welsh said.

Seven US cities, including NY and most recently Philadelphia, have levied taxes on sweetened drinks with added sugar in an effort to reduce consumption.

For the study, Welsh and her colleagues collected data on 13,440 men and women, average age 64, who were part of a large stroke study from 2003 to 2007. She is an associate professor at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. Over the course of 6 years (on an average), 1,168 of the participants died.

"Portion size is important because it's really the greater recommended portion of every additional serving that caused the increased risk".

The report was published online May 17 in JAMA Network Open.

The general United Kingdom recommendation is that a 150ml glass of fruit juice can provide one of our five-a-day, fruit and vegetables, but no more.

"Previous research has shown that high consumption of sugars like those in soft drink and fruit juices is linked to several cardiovascular disease risk factors", Welsh explained.

To quote the findings of the study as is, "These results suggest higher consumption of sugary beverages, including fruit juice, is associated with increased mortality. I would encourage my patients to drink no more than 115 ml to 236 ml of juice per day", researcher Kate Patton told Philadelphia CBS.

"Although the sugar in SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages) is added during processing and the sugar in 100 per cent fruit juice occurs naturally, the specific sugars they provide for the body to process are essentially the same, and the biochemical response when metabolized is the same". Between the two, she tipped the scales in favor of fruit juice: "Given its vitamin and mineral content, fruit juice in small amounts may have a beneficial effect that isn't seen with sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages". However, their ingredients can vary substantially and there is limited research on their health effects, she said.

Out this, people who get 10% or more of their daily calories from any sugary beverage such as soda increased their risk of premature death by 14%. Vegetable juice is a lower-calorie alternative to fruit juice, but may contain a lot of salt.

Visit the Harvard School of Public Health for more on sugary drinks.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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