Soft drinks have been linked to obesity, heart disease, and other health issues. A new study now links soft drinks to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
With apologies to soft drink consumers everywhere (it seems there’s just nothing good to say about pop lately), here’s one more piece of bad news: not only are obesity and heart disease linked to soft drink consumption, but now researchers have added asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to the list.
Researchers in Australia published an article in the February 2012 issue of Respirology in which they report survey results gathered between 2008 and 2010 from 16,907 people over 16 years old. They found that people who consumed at least half a liter of soft drinks daily were more than twice as likely to develop either asthma or COPD as people who drank none.
For this study, soft drinks included Coke, lemonade, flavoured mineral water, and Powerade.
Why this relationship occurs remains unclear. The researchers said that since both asthma and COPD are associated with inflammation, foods, such as soft drinks, that promote oxidative stress and inflammation could affect the pathogenesis of these diseases.
It may also be the relationship between soft drinks and obesity, since obesity leads to a greater likelihood of developing both asthma and COPD.
Chemicals and preservatives?
They also add that studies link asthma to chemicals such as phthalates in plastic bottles as well as allergies to preservatives such as nitrites and sulphites, which may also play a roll in the relationship between soft drinks and asthma.
Smoking and soft drinks
According to the researchers, odds of developing these lung diseases were increased for those who drank a high level of soft drinks and also smoked, with figures suggesting a 6.6-fold greater risk of developing COPD.
According to the harbingers of this bad soda news, “Regardless of whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship, the public health implications of consumption of large volumes of soft drink are substantial. Our study emphasizes the importance of healthy eating and drinking in the prevention of chronic diseases like asthma and COPD.”