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Increasing Soda Consumption Fuels Rise in Diabetes, Heart Disease
Date:3/5/2010

Finding suggests new health policies could make a dent in the problem, researcher says

FRIDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) --Increasing consumption of sugary soft drinks contributed to 130,000 new cases of diabetes, 14,000 new cases of heart disease and 50,000 more life-years burdened with heart disease in the last decade, a new U.S. study finds.

"The finding suggests that any kind of policy that reduces consumption might have a dramatic health benefit," said senior study author Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who was to present the finding Friday during the American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, in San Francisco.

The study used a computer simulation of heart disease that has been applied to other cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity and dietary salt, Bibbins-Domingo explained. "We probably underestimated the incidence, because the rise is greatest among the young, and our model focuses on adults 35 and older," she said.

One plausible explanation is that the increased incidence of cardiovascular problems is due to a rising incidence of diabetes, Bibbins-Domingo said, while an increase in obesity might also be responsible.

"Whatever the mechanism, large population studies do suggest an effect of drinking large lots of sweetened beverages," she said. "No one argues that these drinks are not fine in moderation, but over the past decade their consumption has been on the rise, while consumption of other beverages has declined."

A statement by Maureen Storey, senior vice president for science policy for the American Beverage Association, noted that the study had not yet been published in a scientific journal, and therefore had not undergone review by outside, qualified scientists.

"What we do know is that both heart disease and diabetes are complex
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