Beverages such as colas, fruit punch and sweet tea can add hundreds of calories to your diet each day. These extra calories turn into extra pounds, which can lead to obesity. According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, a recent study published in "Circulation" magazine reveals disturbing results: drinking soda -- even diet soda -- can increase your risk for heart disease. In a large study of more than 6,000 people, doctors discovered that people who drink one or more sodas per day had a 30 percent increased risk for obesity. One in four have an increased risk for abnormal blood sugar levels, while one in three show an increase in the odds – 32 percent -- of having low levels of good cholesterol. All of these problems are risk factors for heart disease. Doctors are not sure why diet sodas are linked to an increase in obesity. One possibility is that people who consume high amounts of any soft drink tend to be less healthy. Many soda drinkers also tend to be couch potatoes who eat high fat foods. Diet soda drinkers may share this unhealthy lifestyle, even if they don't consume as many calories. Scientists say another possibility is the sodium content in sodas. Diet soda has even more sodium than regular soda. Research shows that for some people, a high sodium intake is associated with higher blood pressure, which, in turn, is linked to heart problems.
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