It can age you as much as smoking, yet we're all still doing it...

A research team from the University of California, San Francisco has found that drinking sugary, carbonated drinks may age you just as much as smoking.

We have known that consumption of sugary fizzy drinks increases risk and chance of obesity, but this new research reveals that it has a profound impact on the ageing process.

As we get older, our toleromes get shorter – it is just the way things go. Toleromes are tiny structures that protect our DNA and as these begin to get shorter, we find ourselves at higher risk of disease. What this study has found is that consumption of soft drink of two or more cans per day sees the toleromes shorten to those one would expect from someone around 4.6 years older than them.

Shortened toleromes increase the risk of getting age related diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes significantly – and drinking too much fizzy drink will definitely do this to you.

Professor Elissa Epel, from the University of California at San Francisco, said, “Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development, not only by straining the body’s metabolic control of sugars, but also through accelerated cellular ageing of tissues. This is the first demonstration that soda is associated with telomere shortness. This finding held regardless of age, race, income and education level.”

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It is a universal problem, and no one can avoid it unless you start swapping sweet drinks for water.

Do you drink too much soft drink? How many glasses do you have every week? Tell us in the comments below…