Research Fuels Arguments Against Soda

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A new study has revealed that mice that consumed even “safe doses” of sugar were more likely to die earlier and less likely to reproduce, fueling the argument that people should cut back on sodas and candy.

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Researchers at the University of Utah found that when mice ate a diet of 25 percent extra sugar — the mouse equivalent of a healthy human diet plus three cans of soda daily — females died at twice the normal rate, and males were a quarter less likely to hold territory and reproduce.

Americans consume about 130 pounds of sugar each year on average.

No study has linked excessive sugar consumption to shorter life spans or lower reproduction in humans, but Dr.  Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said similar studies have shown that “too much sugar is a bad thing.”

“It can raise insulin levels. It can feed certain tumors. It can have an impact on cholesterol and other blood lipids,” Aronne said. “So there are many ways that too much sugar can impact health adversely.”

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Sugar from sodas and other drinks seems to be especially harmful because it’s absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, and it’s easy to consume a lot of it, reported CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez, who added that moderation is key. People should avoid extra sugar, especially in processed foods and soda, Gomez cautioned. A teaspoon or two in coffee or tea is probably OK, but not the 20 or more teaspoons that are in a 20-ounce soda, he added.

The Bloomberg Administration, in a bid to combat obesity, has sought to limit servings of sugary drinks in city restaurants to 16 ounces. The regulation, however, has lost two court battles. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to take his appeal to the state’s highest court.

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