conditions with no single cause and no single solution," Storey said in the statement, which noted that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is not listed as a risk factor by the American Heart Association. "Rather, we need to continue to educate Americans about the importance of balancing the calories from the foods and beverages we eat and drink with regular physical activity."
But the study does suggest that any kind of policy that reduces consumption might have a health benefit, Bibbins-Domingo noted. One such policy is a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, she noted. "The reason why there is a current debate about a tax is that scientific evidence in populations has consistently shown that more than one drink a day increases your risk," she said.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks such as soda pop, while "alternative choices are available," said Dr. Robert H. Eckel, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado and a past president of the association.
"Juice from fruit itself is nutrient-rich, and its nutritional value goes beyond the carbohydrate content," Eckel said.
The recommended daily sugar intake amounts to just one can of sugar-sweetened soda a day for a man and slightly less for women, he said.
The cardiovascular effects of dietary sugar are described by the American Heart Association.
SOURCES: Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Robert H. Eckel, professor, medicine, University of Colorado, Denver; March 5, 2010, presentation, American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, San Francisco
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