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Perhaps it should come as no surprise that soda, for all it carbonated tastiness, isn’t a particularly healthy option (though ironic, when one knows that some of the oldest soft drinks were initially marketed as miracle elixirs). Earlier this month, researchers found that diet sodas may increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Now, another study suggests that people who drink sugar-sweetened sodas daily are at greater risk for high blood pressure.
According to WedMD, the researchers concluded “every extra sugar-sweetened beverage drank per day was associated with a 1.6 point rise in systolic blood pressure (the upper number) and a 1 point rise in diastolic pressure (the lower number).” High salt consumption brought the numbers up further still.
An important caveat about the study is that data was gathered from questioning participants about their soda consumption habits rather than comparing a sugary-beverage drinking group with a non-sugary-beverage drinking group. A spokesperson for the American Beverage Association said the study is flawed and the blood pressure changes were “inconsequential” and within the standard measurement error.