You may have seen some attention to research presented at an American Heart Association meeting that suggests that drinking two or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day increases the risk of cardiovascular disease among women. It’s always worth questioning a news report on a study if it only presents one side … that of the researchers. So before you start to panic unnecessarily, once again we thought we’d share some facts.
First, this was research presented at a scientific meeting – not a peer-reviewed study published in a scientific journal. Regardless, it’s important to recognize that this type of study cannot show that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages causes increased risk for cardiovascular disease. It simply looks at associations between the two, which could be the result of numerous other confounding factors.
To that point, the American Heart Association states that two of the major risk factors for heart disease are increasing age and family history of cardiovascular disease. Yet this research, which looked at people ages 45 to 84, did not control for either factor.
If you’d like to read more about the limitations of this research, or the facts about cardiovascular disease, you can read our full response here on our website.