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New study finds sugar-sweetened beverages increase cardiovascular risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who drink excessive amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages - such as soda, juice or sports drinks - may benefit from seeking cholesterol testing, as a new study has connected the drinks to an increased cardiovascular risk.

Researchers from the University of Oklahoma found that women who drink more than two sugar-sweetened beverages per day are four times more likely to have elevated triglyceride levels. Furthermore, their chances of having an extended waistline were much higher, even if they did not experience significant weight gain. A large waistline is considered a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.

"Most people assume that individuals who consume a lot of sugar-sweetened drinks have an increase in obesity, which in turn, increases their risk for heart disease and diabetes," said lead researcher Christina Shay. "Although this does occur, this study showed that risk factors for heart disease and stroke developed even when the women didn't gain weight."

She added that women are at a particularly high risk for developing cardiovascular and metabolic problems associated with sugar-sweetened beverage consumption because their bodies require fewer calories. This makes it easier for them to overload with just a few drinks.

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