Heart Beat: May 2011

Drinking sodas, sweetened fruit juices and sports and energy drinks may contribute to higher blood pressure, according to a study reported in the Feb. 28 issue of Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers found that for every sugar-sweetened beverage drunk per day, study participants saw their systolic blood pressure rise by an average of 1.6 mm Hg and diastolic pressure go up by 0.8 mm Hg. The results were significant even when researchers adjusted for differences in body mass among study participants. One explanation offered by researchers is that people who consume such beverages on a regular basis tend to have less healthy diets overall. They tend to consume more empty calories bereft of nutritional benefits.
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