Evaluating your likely current (and near future) state of health means taking into account the risk factors — such as drinking soft drinks containing sugar — that affect you. Our medical diagnosis tool, The Analyst™, identifies major risk factors by asking the right questions.
Do you drink soft drinks that contain sugar (not artificially-sweetened)?
Possible responses:→ Never / rarely / don't know
→ About one drink a week or less
→ 2-6 drinks each week
→ 1-4 drinks each day
→ More than 4 drinks each day
Soft drinks generally represent the single largest source of added sweeteners to our diet. They account for one-third of all calories we consume from added sweeteners, which for the average American adds up to more than 23 pounds of sugar from 47.4 gallons of soft drinks annually. An average 12 ounce can has 9-12 teaspoons of sugar, and the average teenage boy consumes 868 cans per year. This is how teens get 15 of their 34 teaspoons of sugar each day.
For gout, soft drinks are worse than hard liquor – and nearly as bad as beer – doubling the risk for heavy drinkers. Diet sodas, however, do not affect gout risk. These findings came from a large study of 46,393 male health professionals in Canada who filled in detailed questionnaires about their health and their diet every four years for 12 years. Over that time, 755 of the subjects developed gout.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in November, 2012 found that those who drank at least one can of sugar-containing soft drink per day were 40% more likely to develop prostate cancer than those who never consumed these drinks. Even worse, this increased risk applies to the more aggressive (faster-growing) forms of prostate cancer that are more likely to be fatal. The study followed the dietary habits of more than 8,000 men for an average of 15 years and found a clear (but as yet unproven) link between sugary drinks and prostate cancer. One theory is that sugar triggers the release of insulin, which feeds tumors.