Don't Sugarcoat It

Sugary drinks and food in teens now may increase risk of heart disease as adults

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Sugary drinks and foods may increase risk of heart disease in adulthood, according to a news study from Emory University.

The study analyzed data from 2,157 teens who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which found an average of 119 grams (476 calories) of sugar were consumed in a day, accounting for 21.4 percent of daily consumed calories.

Lead researcher and postdoctoral fellow Jean Welsh said sodas are a major contributor of added sugar and calories that don't provide other important nutrients.

Welsh and colleagues found that teens who consumed the most added sugar exhibited nine percent higher LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels, generally lower levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol levels and 10 percent higher triglyceride levels (another blood fat), compared to those who consumed the least aamount of added sugar.

The teens who consumed the most added sugar also presented signs of insulin resistance, which can prefigure diabetes, another associated risk of heart disease.

The American Heart Association recommends women and teens take in no more than 100 calories of added sugars per day and men stop at 150 calories of added sugar per day.

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Review Date: 
January 12, 2011
Last Updated:
January 12, 2011