A new study from Virginia Tech University has confirmed what we’ve always known but have refused to admit: our soda habit is bad for our overall health. In fact, this study cites not just soda, but all drinks with added sugar, as being harmful. This includes your daily diet soda! But there's good news: even replacing just one unhealthy drink with a serving of water can deliver major health benefits.
Unsurprisingly, the high number of calories in soda, energy drinks, certain types of juice and coffee drinks can increase the risk of weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
And there’s more bad news. The study, published in the journal Nutrients, also found a link between higher consumption of sugary beverages and overall unhealthy diets, which means that a person who drinks a lot of soda or other sugary drinks is more likely to also eat a lot of processed foods and sweets. Conversely, those who drink fewer unhealthy drinks are more likely to also eat a healthier diet including fruits, vegetables, meats and whole grains.
This study used data collected from 19,718 adults as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2007 and 2012.
"We found that among U.S. adults who consume one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per day, replacing that drink with water lowered the percent of calories coming from drinks from 17 to 11 percent," said Kiyah Duffey, a co-author of the study, in a press release. "Even those who consumed more sugary drinks per day could still benefit from water replacement, dropping the amount of calories coming from beverages to less than 25 percent of their daily caloric intake."
Never fear, folks--you don't have to quit your habit completely. This study confirms that just swapping out one drink can decrease your risk for health issues.