The sugary beverage industry spends billions of dollars on advertisement and marketing campaigns aimed at showing us the sweet side of their products. But what these advertisements do not tell us is the bitter and unhealthy side of these drinks. Regular consumption of large quantities of sugary drinks can lead to some serious health problems. Recent studies have found a strong connection between high intake of sugary beverages and elevated risks of several chronic diseases, including gout, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Sugary beverages are rich in high fructose corn syrup. Fructose, unlike most other sugars, increases the concentrations of uric acid in the blood. High blood levels of uric acid can lead to the formation of needle-like uric acid crystals in joints, resulting in the development of gout.
Habitual intake of sugary beverages is one of the possible dietary risk factors for hypertension. Data from an Harvard study reveal that persons who drank one or more sugary drinks per day had 12% higher chances of suffering from hypertension than individuals who did not drink these types of beverages. Another study published in the Journal of the Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases also found a strong link between hypertension and frequent consumption of sugared beverages.
Chronic Kidney Disease
An estimated 31 million Americans are living with chronic kidney disease. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK), diabetes and high blood pressure are the two major causes of chronic kidney disease. Therefore any factor that increases the risk of hypertension and diabetes will indirectly elevate chronic kidney disease risk. Increased intake of sugared beverages has been associated with diabetes and hypertension. In addition, the findings of a 2007 study show that drinking two or more colas per day increases an individual's susceptibility to chronic kidney disease risk.