If you drink 20 ounces of soda per day you may be causing your cells to age as much as if you smoke. In a recent study researchers investigated DNA from 5,309 adults and found that drinking sugary soda was associated with shorter telomeres, the caps on the ends of our cells' chromosomes. It is believed that telomere length could be linked to life span, according to a report by the University of California-San Francisco. Why? Shorter telomeres is linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
"Drinking an 8-ounce daily serving of soda corresponded to 1.9 years of additional aging, and drinking a daily 20-ounce serving was linked to 4.6 more years of aging. The latter, the authors point out, is exactly the same association found between telomere length and smoking," reports Time.
“This finding held regardless of age, race, income and education level. Telomere shortening starts long before disease onset. Further, although we only studied adults here, it is possible that soda consumption is associated with telomere shortening in children, as well,” says Elissa Epel, PhD, professor of psychiatry at UCSF and senior author of the study.
The researchers did however find that diet sodas or 100 percent fruit juices had the same effect.
The study adds further evidence to the link between sugary beverages and "obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease,"...."that has driven legislators and activists in several U.S. jurisdictions to champion ballet initiatives that would tax sugar-sweetened beverage purchases with the goal of discouraging consumption and improving public health."
Do you think that there should be a "sin-tax" on sugary beverages and/or on all products with high sugar levels?