Having a lot of soft drinks is not advisable, in spite of them seeming to be real thirst quenchers on a hot sunny day. Backing up this idea is a study by scientists at the University of Sydney which revealed how 12-year old children consuming more fizzy drinks may face higher risk for heart disease and hypertension.
Basically, the team found that kids drinking 1 or more fizzy drinks or cordial once a day apparently manifested narrower arteries in the back region of their eyes. This is one significant predictor of health complications in the form of heart disease or high blood pressure at a later stage.
“Children with a high consumption of soft drinks and carbohydrates had a more adverse microvascular profile compared to those who did not drink so many soft drinks or eat so many carbs. We measured their total carbohydrate intake over the whole day from things like bread, rice and pasta,” commented Dr Bamini Gopinath, lead author and senior research fellow at the Centre for Vision Research at Westmead Millennium Institute.
As part of the analysis, nearly 2000 12-year-old kids were examined. The investigators found that those who drank more soft drinks seemingly carried a poor microvascular profile, than those who did not indulge in them. Moreover, carbohydrates came forward as the hidden culprit behind all these effects seen in the kids.
We know that soft drinks could be a storehouse of carbohydrates, which is possibly one reason behind the health issues observed. Essentially, the team disclosed that children eating more carbohydrates experienced the same influence as those drinking fizzy drinks.
When the blood vessels in the retina shrink, there is a high possibility of cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure in the future. Importantly, retinal microvascular diameter is regarded as a potential marker for the aforesaid conditions.
Though we most often come across obesity concerns with respect to soft drinks, this study showed how children are risking their heart health by consuming more fizzy drinks.