More Americans than ever drink sugary drinks daily, according to government statistics, and the increase has fueled the rise in heart disease and diabetes over the past 10 years. Scientists used a computer simulation called the Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Policy Model to estimate that the rise in consumption has contributed to 130,000 new cases of diabetes and 14,000 new cases of coronary artery disease in adults age 35 and older.
Sodas sweetened with the acid sugar, sport, and fruit drinks (not 100 percent fruit juice) contain between 120 and 200 calories, and play a role both in the development of obesity and diabetes.
“The CHD model allows us to incorporate data from other studies that demonstrate an association between daily consumption of sugared beverages and diabetes risk," Dr. Litsa Lambrakos, study lead investigator and internal medicine resident at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a statement. "We can then translate this information into estimates of the current diabetes and cardiovascular disease that can be attributed to the rise in consumption of these drinks.”
Experts suggest that imposing an excise tax of one cent per ounce of beverage would reduce consumption by 10 percent.
“If such a tax could curb the consumption of these drinks, the health benefits could be dramatic,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, senior author of the study and associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
"The soda tax is a fix that just makes sense," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a radio address.
The American Heart Association recommends women limit added sugar to about 100 calories a day and that men limit their added sugar to 150 calories daily. Sugar-sweetened beverages should be limited to 450 calories or less each week (36 ounces), based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.
Dr. Robert O. Young, Director of the pH Miracle Center states, "all sodas, sport drinks, fruit drinks, exotic fruit drinks primarily sold by network marketing companies are highly acidic and will contribute or even cause the acid conditions of diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. My best advice is if the beverage tastes sweet and/or carbonated spit it out and through it away, it is poison to the body."