Sugary Drinks May Put Teens at Risk For Heart Disease

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You may want to think twice before drinking that soda. A new study shows that teens who consume a lot of sugary drinks and foods could be at risk for heart disease in their adult years, researchers at Emory University say.

According to Businessweek, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey involved 2,157 teens, and found that the group ate an average of 119 grams (476 calories) of extra sugar per day. That's 21.4 percent of the overal calories consumed each day by the teens.
"[Sugar is] a significant contributor of calories to our diet and there are these associations that may prove to be very negative," lead researcher Jean Welsh said. "Sugar-sweetened soft drinks and sodas are the major contributor of added sugar and are a major source of calories without other important nutrients."

The study found that teens with the highest sugar intake also had 9 percent higher LDL cholesterol levels (the "bad" kind), and 10 percent higher triglyceride levels. These same teens also had lower levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good" kind).

Additionally, the Businessweek report says that "teens who consumed the highest amount of added sugar showed signs of insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes and its associated risk of heart disease." Researchers note that the data was from just one day and may not be indicative of the teen's overall diet.

What do you think about the study's findings? Do you consume a lot of soda or sugary drinks? Now that you know it could possibly lead to heart disease later in life, would you consider eating less of these sugar-filled foods? %Poll-58587%

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