Excerpt from:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/0...alth_effects_1

Daily soft drinks - even diet - linked to higher heart disease risk: study
2 hours, 29 minutes ago

By Sheryl Ubelacker

TORONTO (CP) - For those who drink diet pops in the belief that sugar-free beverages are healthier than regular soft drinks, new research suggests they should think again.


A huge U.S. study of middle-aged adults has found that drinking more than one soft drink a day - even a sugar-free diet brand - may be associated with an elevated risk for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of factors that boosts the chance of having a heart attack or stroke and developing diabetes.


"We found that one or more sodas per day increases your risk of new-onset metabolic syndrome by about 45 per cent, and it did not seem to matter if it was regular or diet," Dr. Ramachandran Vasan, senior investigator for the Framingham Heart Study, said Monday from Boston.


"That for me is striking."


Metabolic syndrome is associated with five specific health indicators: excess abdominal fat; high blood sugar; high triglycerides; low levels of the good cholesterol HDL; and high blood pressure.


"And other than high blood pressure, the other four . . . all were associated with drinking one or more sodas per day," said Vasan, a professor of medicine at Boston University.