Perhaps you’ve read something in the last week or so that suggests drinking soda will give you asthma.  We know … it was an odd one for us to read, too.  But a journal recently published a telephone survey of less than 17,000 adults from South Australia which alleges an association between drinking soft drinks and asthma and lung disease.  As we usually like to do, we’re sharing a few points to help you make a more informed opinion on this alleged association:

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (commonly known as COPD) are not caused by drinking soda and other sweetened beverages. That’s not just our opinion.  The authors of the survey themselves note that “causal relationships could not be established.” After all, this was a cross-sectional study which simply can’t prove cause and effect. Interestingly, the findings of the survey show no association between soft drink consumption and asthma or COPD among non-smokers (considering that smoking is a known risk factor for asthma and lung disease.)

So when you read about the latest “study of the day,” try to remember that real science is undermined when we focus on implausible associations between two things, such as soft drinks and lung disease.  And if you want to get the facts on lung disease, there’s a wealth of information available on the websites of The Mayo Clinic and the American Lung Association.