Soft drinks could affect health in adverse ways
Researchers from Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research, the University of Sydney, have found real evidences pointing to the fact that too much soft drinks or fizzy drinks could adversely affect health. The link was confirmed in a study conducted by the “Dr Bamini Gopinath” and team.
The study has found that 12-year-olds who drink one or more fizzy drinks or cordial a day had narrower arteries in the back of their eyes. This increases their chances of heart disease and high blood pressure in later life. By examining the back of the eyes researchers can see the health of a person’s blood vessel system.
The study looked at around two thousand 12-year-old children in 21 high schools in Sydney, and is an extension of a study that last year found similar damage to children who watch too much television. The damage does not affect their vision.
“Children with a high consumption of soft drinks and carbohydrates had a more adverse microvascular profile compared to those who did not drink so many soft drinks or eat so many carbs,” said Dr Bamini Gopinath, lead author and senior research fellow at the Centre for Vision Research at Westmead Millennium Institute.
“We measured their total carbohydrate intake over the whole day from things like bread, rice and pasta.”
Retinal microvascular diameter is a potential marker for future cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure in adults, but this is the first study to show that the effect of carbohydrates and fizzy drinks in childhood is linked to a narrowing of the vessels in the retina.
Dr Gopinath said she would be very interested to see whether the damage persisted, once data from the follow-up study on the same children at age 17 was analysed.
This is study is particularly important to societies consuming high amounts of carbohydrates. It is very interesting to note that the study points to fact that, it is the combination of carbohydrates and fizzy drinks that is causing the ill effects. Traditionally there are many societies who consume large amounts of carbohydrates and are generally healthy. But many recent studies have shown high amounts of cardiovascular health problems in many such societies.
For instance consider the case of Kerala, a state in the southern most tip of India, where the traditional food is rich in carbohydrates and recently there is an alarming increase of cardiovascular diseases in the state especially among the youth and middle-aged population. This study is indirectly pointing to the possibility that changing life styles may be causing these sudden increases.
More studies and research is definitely required to find out what is causing these changes when high carbohydrate foods and fizzy drinks are consumed daily.
Source : University of Sydney