A new study has linked the consumption of sweetened beverages like soda and juice to increased risk of chronic kidney disease. The findings hint at a risk in consuming beverages that have been sweetened with sugar, particularly consuming large amounts, which was linked to much higher odds of developing the disease in otherwise healthy volunteers.
The study looked at 3,003 adult volunteers who, at the start of the study, had normal kidney function. Eight years after the study’s start, researchers found that 185 of the volunteers (6-percent) had developed chronic kidney disease.
The team adjusted for potential confounding factors, leaving them with a pattern of consuming sugary beverages and water that was linked to the development of chronic kidney disease. The results may point toward a potential public health issue that could be partially addressed with measures like sugar taxes, which have successfully reduced sugary beverage consumption in cities that have adopted it.
The volunteers with the most consumption had a 61-percent greater chance of developing the disease than the participants with lower consumption habits. Though the presence of sugary drinks isn’t terribly surprising, the pattern of water was, and the researchers may have an answer.
The team suspects that volunteers reported flavored and sweetened water beverages as ‘water’ when questioned; the study, unfortunately, failed to collect additional information about the water consumption that would help shed light on this unexpected result.