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One More Reason to Skip the Sodas

One More Reason to Skip the Sodas

You’ve seen the movie: A bump in the attic. A young woman, alone in the house, decides to investigate. Slowly, she ascends the stairs. At the top there’s a door that’s closed. She listens, thinks she hears something, and reaches for the doorknob. You want to scream out, “Don’t do it!”

Well, that’s how we feel when we see anyone reaching for a can of soda. Besides being associated with weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, soda is also strongly linked to high blood pressure (HBP).

The INTERMAP (International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure) study found that people who regularly drink sugary and even diet soda have higher blood pressure than those who don’t. Those findings back up the Nurses Health Study that found “compared with women who drank less than a can of regular cola a day, women who drank four or more cans of cola a day had a 44 percent higher risk [of high blood pressure]." That’s something the 75 million Americans with HBP should pay attention to.

But here’s the really great news: According to Fortune Magazine, soda sales in the U.S. in 2016 dropped for the eleventh consecutive year. Leading the charge, or plunge, were diet sodas. Researchers believe that was because of the emerging public distrust of the sugar substitute aspartame. So the next time you reach for a can of soda, think about that creaking attic door and repeat the new mantra: Just don’t do it!

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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