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Carbonated drinks boost heart attack risk?

Authors of a large Japanese study suggests a link between carbonated beverages and an increased risk of heart attack, but the American Council on Science and Health debunks the logic.

Should we fear the fizz? Japanese researchers think so. Carbonated beverages may be linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, according to a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress and noted on

Researchers analyzed data from 800,000 people in Japan and found that the more money people spent on carbonated beverages, the more likely they were to suffer from heart attacks. Spending on other types of drinks, including green tea, black tea, coffee, cocoa, fruit or vegetable juice, fermented milk beverages, milk and mineral water, wasn’t connected to the same risk.

What is it about the bubbly stuff that’s bad? “The acid in carbonated beverages might play an important role in this association,” Keijiro Saku, one of the study’s authors and a professor of cardiology at Fukuoka University, said in a release for the European Society of Cardiology Congress.

The study uses “fizzy math,” the American Council on Science and Health claimed in a post about the research. “This must be a joke right?” asks Josh Bloom on the Council’s website, where an expert on statistical analysis of clinical trials debunks the “significant link” that the researchers claim exists between carbonated beverages and heart attacks.

Saku, the study’s author, does note that “Our data on carbonated beverage consumption is based on expenditure and the association with OHCA is not causal. But the findings do indicate that limiting consumption of carbonated beverages could be beneficial for health." No doubt. There’s tons of more solid research that supports kicking the soda habit.

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