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CLINICAL PERSPECTIVE Consumption of soft drinks among children, adolescents, and middle-aged adults has risen in the United States and Europe during the past 3 decades. Prior studies have shown a higher prevalence of obesity and diabetes mellitus in children who consume more soft drinks, although these associations are less clear for adults. We evaluated the relations of metabolic syndrome and its components to soft drink consumption in Framingham participants. Cross-sectionally, individuals consuming at least 1 soft drink per day had 50% higher prevalence of the metabolic syndrome than those consuming 1 drink per day. During a follow-up period of 4 years, consumption of 1 soft drink per day was associated with a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome and a higher incidence of each of its components, ie, obesity, increased waist circumference, impaired fasting glucose, higher blood pressure, hypertriglyceridemia, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Analyses that used food frequency questionnaire data suggested that intake of 1 drink per day of either regular or diet soft drinks was associated with a 50% higher incidence of metabolic syndrome compared with intake of
1 soft drink per week. We conclude that consumption of more than 1 soft drink per day is associated with a higher
prevalence and incidence of multiple metabolic risk factors in middle-aged adults. Our observational data raise the possibility that public health measures to limit consumption of soft drinks may be associated with a lowering of the burden of cardiometabolic risk factors in adults.