Drinking soda on an everyday basis can have health consequences. While an occasional soda is not a health risk for most people, regular consumption, even one or two sodas daily, can add up to health trouble over the long run, whether it is diet soda or regular. Over-consumption of soda has been linked to increased risk of a variety of diseases and health conditions, some of which can pose serious health risks.
Regular soda consumption has been linked with increased risk of overweight and obesity, which are, in turn, associated with higher risk of a heart disease, diabetes and many other serious health issues. A 2011 review published in the journal “Circulation” states that a positive association has been shown between sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption and weight gain in both children and adults.
Drinking diet soda regularly may affect cardiovascular health. According to a February 2011 news release from the American Heart Association, research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference found that people who drink diet soda every day have a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events than those who reported no soda consumption.
Regular soda drinkers have been shown to be at higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which is a group of symptoms that indicate a heightened risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. To be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, a person must display at least three of the following symptoms; excess fat in the abdominal area, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and high fasting blood sugar. According to a 2007 study published in the journal “Circulation,” researchers concluded that there was a 40 percent higher adjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome among participants who drank one or more soft drinks daily relative to those with infrequent soft drink consumption, and this association remained consistent with both diet and regular soft drinks.
Diet soda has been associated with kidney problems, according to an August 2010 study published in the “Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.” Study authors concluded that women who drank more than two servings a day of artificially sweetened soda per day saw a decrease in kidney function over 20 years that was three times the rate of decline found in women who did not drink diet soda. No association was found between the consumption of sugar sweetened sodas and kidney function decline.
Other Health Risks
Other health risks associated with regular consumption of soda include dental problems and increased osteoporosis risk. Soda contains acidic ingredients that can erode tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Frequent soda drinkers often consume fewer nutrient-rich beverages in the daily diet, such as milk and juice, replacing them with soft drinks, decreasing calcium intake and increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis.