4 years ago
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  • shaunwright456
  • pop3
  • shelton
  • tonyberkman
  • emilio
4 years ago
Drinking Soda May Age You as Much as Smoking

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?


  1. emilio 

    Yeah, I knew all those Cokes would come back to haunt me. Good thing I can still drink my morning coffee.

    • 10/22/14
      1. tonyberkman 

        caffeine likely is next on the hitlist though kids don't tend to drink it like sugar sodas so I'm guessing our coffee habits are safe

        • 10/22/14
      2. shelton 

        Thank you Tony for an amazing blog, which is incredibly informative, and thought provoking.

        You ended your excellent blog by asking, should there be a sin-tax on sugary beverages to discourage consumption?

        My question in response is - does having a sin tax on cigarettes and/or alcohol really stop anyone from consuming either? Probably not!

        Would a sin-tax on sugary beverages and/or all high sugar products help to discourage consumption? Again, probably not.

        Sugar can be an addictive substance, just like fat. People can't easily stop indulging in sugar.

        In fact, some people have known sugar addictions which are difficult to break with specific coaching and help.

        Obesity, which is a common side effect of high sugar consumption, is also a key factor for an increased cancer risk.

        Less than 10 percent of Americans are aware of this sugar/obscenity/cancer link.

        The obesity epidemic is directly related to excessive sugar consumption. This is also a major driving factor for the current cancer epidemic.

        Sugar fueled obesity has been linked to an increased risk for about a dozen different cancers, including cancer of the colon, esophagus, kidney, breast, and pancreas. Obseity also has been linked to a heightened risk of dying from the disease.

        Unless you are vigorously exercising, your body can only use about six teaspoons or 24 grams of sugar per day.

        Note: One teaspoon of granulated sugar equals 4 grams of sugar.

        Excess sugar is then stored as body fat, and leads to the chronic metabolic diseases, including cancer.

        Did you know that 20 ounces of regular sugary soda contains approximately 44 grams of sugar?

        Once you’ve addressed your basic food choices, and cut your sugar/fructose consumption down to no more than 25 grams/day or less, you have a better chance of extending life while minimizing risk of developing cancer.

        • 10/23/14
          1. shaunwright456 

            Wow! I did not know that and now it has me taking a second look at that one soda per day that I have! Soda is bad enough for our teeth, our weight and our digestive system but now that we add aging to the mix, why would anyone drink it?

            • 11/03/14