(CBS) Soda drinkers can't seem to catch a break these days. A new study
suggests drinking soda might raise the risk for respiratory diseases like asthma
and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). PICTURES: Sugary
For the study, published in the Feb. 7 issue of Respirology,
Australian researchers surveyed nearly 17,000 people asking about their soft
drink habits. For this study's purposes, soft drinks included Coke, lemonade,
flavored mineral water, Powerade, and Gatorade, and all other types of soda, the
What did they find?
One in 10 Australian adults drink more than half a liter of soft drink per
day - that's more than two cups. But that amount was tied to "dose-response
relationship" with risk for asthma and COPD, meaning the more soft drinks people
consume, the higher their risk. Overall, 13.3 percent of surveyed participants
with asthma and 15.6 percent of those with COPD drank more than two cups of soda
What does drinking soda have to do with lung health? The study authors said
one reason may be drinking soda is tied to an increased risk for obesity, which
raises risk for asthma and COPD.
"Our study emphasizes the importance of healthy eating and drinking in the
prevention of chronic diseases like asthma and COPD," study author Dr. Zumin
Shi, a research fellow at the University of Adelaide in Australia, said in a written
The study did not prove cause-and-effect, only an observational link, so some
experts thought many unhealthy factors contributed to the raised risk.
"High soda intake is a good marker for poor overall diet, and poor overall
attention to health," Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center
at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., told MedPage
Today. "It likely suggests greater exposure to everything from tobacco smoke
to air pollution."
This study is far from the first to tie drinking soda to health risks.
A 2010 study in the journal, "Diabetes Care," found daily soda drinkers were
25 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, HealthPop
reported. The diet drinks don't fare much better. A study in Feb. 2011 of 2,500
adults found daily diet soda drinkers had a higher risk
for stroke and heart attack than people who drank no