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Sugar Study: High Consumption Could Double Death Risk From Heart Disease

By David Ogul   |   Tuesday, 04 Feb 2014 05:04 PM

A new study found that people who have a high sugar consumption could double their chance of dying from heart disease. The research was published in published by the JAMA Network.

The study also found that people who have seven or more servings of sugar-sweetened beverages per week, whether it be colas or lemonade, may be at an increased risk of dying from heart disease.

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“Too much sugar can make you fat; it can also make you sick, sick from diseases like cardiovascular disease, which is the No. 1 killer in America,” Laura Schmidt, a professor at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine told Bloomberg News. “Small amounts of sugar are fine. It’s consuming massive amounts of sugar that’s a growing problem in America.”

In fact, the study found that people with a diet where calories from sugar made up a quarter or more of their total daily calories were twice as likely to die from heart disease than those whose sugar intake made up only 7 percent of their total daily calories. The study said about 10 percent of the people it monitored had a diet where added sugar makes up 25 percent or more of their daily caloric intake.

It also said that most Americans consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet.

There are no agreed-upon guidelines as to what is recommended, however. For example, the World Health Organization recommends that calories from sugar make up no more than 10 percent of what a person consumes daily. The Institute of Medicine puts the figure at 25 percent. The study said about 15 percent of Americans get their calories from added sugar.

The study described added sugars as “all sugars used in processed or prepared foods, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, candy, ready-to-eat cereals, and yeast breads, but not naturally occurring sugars, such as fruits and fruit juices.”

The study also found that most people who consume high levels of added sugar also had more fat and cholesterol in their diets and ate less grains and vegetables.

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