Sugar-sweetened beverages increase cardiometabolic disease risk more than starches

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In California, while calories from any food may increase the risk of obesity and other cardiometabolic diseases, 22 nutrition researchers agreed that sugar-sweetened beverages play a unique role in chronic health problems. The risk increases even when the beverages are consumed within diets that do not result in weight gain.

“What’s new is that this is an impressive group of scientists with vast experience in nutrition and metabolism agreeing with the conclusion that sugar-sweetened beverages increase cardiometabolic risk factors compared to equal amounts of starch,” said lead author Kimber Stanhope, a research nutritional biologist with the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

The paper is relevant in light of a legal battle over warning labels on soda, which hinged on the 9th Circuit Court’s determination of whether soda and other sweetened beverages are uniquely harmful to human health or are one source of calories among many.