Physical Activity Alone Won’t Counteract Cardiovascular Disease Risks of Sugary Drinks: Study

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A recent study suggests that relying solely on physical activity may not be enough to counter the heart risks associated with sugary drinks such as sodas and fruit cocktails.
Researchers from Canada discovered that even if people meet the recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity, it may not fully offset the negative effects on cardiovascular health of drinking sugar-sweetened beverages.

Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, an assistant professor from Université Laval’s Faculty of Pharmacy in Québec, explained that physical activity can reduce the risk of heart issues associated with sugary drinks by about 50 percent. Still, it doesn’t entirely eliminate the risk.

The study, which looked at data from about 100,000 adults over three decades, found that those who drank sugary beverages more than twice a week had a heightened risk of heart disease, regardless of how much exercise they did.

Even worse, the risk increased for those who consumed such drinks daily.

Mr. Drouin-Chartier pointed out that the sugary beverages in the study included sodas, lemonades, and fruit cocktails. Although the research didn’t specifically examine energy drinks, they typically contain large amounts of sugar.

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Artificially sweetened drinks did not show the same association with heart disease risk.

Mr. Drouin-Chartier said that transitioning from sugary beverages to diet alternatives is a positive move because it decreases sugar consumption. However, he emphasized that water remains the healthiest option.

Lead study author Lorena Pacheco, a research scientist from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, emphasized that these findings support the importance of limiting sugary beverage intake and promoting regular physical activity.
The study was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, providing additional evidence for public health efforts to discourage excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks while encouraging people to maintain a healthy level of physical activity.

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