Sugar-filled Drinks Linked to Kidney Disease

"There is a lack of comprehensive information on the health implications of the wide range of beverage options that are available in the food supply," explained Casey Rebholdz of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is the lead author on a paper that showed linked sweetened fruit juices and soda to the high chance of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD).

In 1972, a British scientist, John Yudkin, published a book called Pure, White and Deadly. His book consisted of research saying that the carbohydrate sugar was more impactful on health than fats. However, at the time it went against all conventional wisdom that said fat, not carbs, were the root of all health problems. His work was so derided he ended up being the butt of jokes. However, in the years that have passed, nutritionists slowly came around on sugar. While there is still much debate on the best diet, nutritionists agree that excess sugar is bad for you.

Studying the diets of more than 3,000 participants, they compiled info on beverage consumption through a questionnaire administered from 2000 to 2004. They studied the health of the subject from 2009 to 2013. One hundred and eighty-five people, or six percent of the participants, developed CKD. And “participants in the top tertile for consumption of this beverage pattern were 61 percent more likely to develop CKD than those in the bottom tertile.”

People constantly compare soda to tobacco. They both had an insidious creep into accepted society. Innocuous and interesting to the user, they were viewed as acceptable and ubiquious until health findings came out shedding doubt on their safety. They were both heavily marketed toward children without saying so explicitly. And, just like tobacco, it has taken the general public a long time to catch up to the belief of researchers. Both have spent big money in elections to persuade voters and politicians not to legislate against them.

So, while the government might be slow to catch up, it’s time for us to cut back on the sugar and embrace our best life! Kick the added sugar habit and enjoy your first steps to a healthy tomorrow. 

February 15, 2019

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