In that the rising rates of overweight/obesity has focused attention on a potential causal influence of sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages, International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) researchers analyzed consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, sugars and diet beverages in 2,696 participants, ages 40 to 59 years, residing in eight areas of the United States and two areas of the United Kingdom. Participants reported what they ate and drank for four days, underwent two 24-hour urine collections and eight blood pressure readings, and responded to a detailed questionnaire on lifestyle, medical and social factors. The researchers found that sugar intake in the form of glucose, fructose and sucrose was highest in those consuming more than one sugar-sweetened beverage daily. For every extra sugar-sweetened beverage drunk per day, participants on average had significantly higher systolic blood pressure by 1.6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure higher by 0.8 mm. They also found that individuals consuming more than one serving per day of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed more calories than those who didn't, with average energy intake of more than 397 calories per day. Those who did not consume sugar-sweetened beverages had lower average body mass index (BMI) than those who consumed more than one of these drinks daily. These findings reinforce recommendations to reduce the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, as well as added sugars, in an effort to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
Ian J. Brown, Jeremiah Stamler, Linda Van Horn, Claire E. Robertson, Queenie Chan, Alan R. Dyer, et al, for the International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure Research Group. “Sugar-Sweetened Beverage, Sugar Intake of Individuals, and Their Blood Pressure: International Study of Macro/
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