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Soft drinks and mortality in 10 EU countries

20 / 11 / 19

Finding: In this European cohort, greater consumption of soft drinks of all kinds- sugar sweetened and artificially sweetened- was associated with a greater risk of mortality.

Summary: This population-based cohort study investigated 451,743 people from 10 European countries in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study.  Mean age was 50 years, 71% were women, and mean follow up of 16 years. Associations between total soft drink consumption, sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks and subsequent total and cause-specific mortality were examined.

Higher all-cause mortality was found in people consuming two or more glasses per day vs less than one glass per month for total soft drinks (HR (hazard ratio) 1.17), sugar sweetened soft drinks (HR 1.08) and artificially sweetened soft drinks (HR 1.52). Positive associations were observed between artificially sweetened soft drinks and deaths from circulatory diseases (HR 1.52), sugar sweetened soft drinks and deaths from digestive diseases (≥1 glass per day vs < 1 glass per month; HR 1.59). No association was observed between soft drink consumption and overall cancer mortality. The authors conclude further studies are needed to investigate possible adverse effects of artificial sweeteners.

Citation: Mullee A, Romaguera D, Pearson-Stuttard J. Soft drinks and mortality in 10 EU countries. JAMA Sept 2019 (open access)