Tue, Feb 03, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Flavored sparkling drinks high in sugar: foundation

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The John Tung Foundation yesterday urged the public to avoid overconsumption of flavored carbonated beverages during the Lunar New Year holiday, saying their high sugar content and food additives could lead to an array of physical problems.

Citing a 2013 US research, the foundation’s Department of Food and Nutrition director Hsu Hui-yu (許惠玉) said the study analyzed the dietary habits of 194,000 people aged between 30 and 75, and found that those who drank one or more cups of carbonated beverage faced a 23 to 33 percent higher risk of developing kidney stones.

“Some people are under the misconception that sweetened beverages are a convenient source of water, but they often neglect the potentially harmful effects of the high sugar content and additives they contain,” Hsu said.

She said that another research conducted by the University of Minnesota in 2010 also found that people who consumed sweetened sparkling beverages more than twice a week were 87 percent more likely to suffer pancreatic cancer than those who did not drink any carbonated beverages.

Research has also shown that people who regularly drink sweetened soda are more liable to experience earlier cell aging, dental loss or damage similar to people with long-term drug abuse problems and low bone density, Hsu said.

“More alarming is that a joint study conducted by three prestigious US universities in 2013 found that children who had more than four cups of soda per day were more susceptible to becoming impulsive, aggressive, violent and inattentive,” Hsu said.

She encouraged people to keep an eye on their intake of soda and alcoholic beverages during the holiday to avoid diseases and unwanted weight gain.

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