Heart Disease

Drinking one can of sugary pop per day increases your risk of dying from heart disease by a third.

Why are you at risk?

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in England and involves disease of the heart or blood vessels such as coronary heart diseaseperipheral vascular disease and stroke.

People who drink a lot of sugary drinks often tend to weigh more, and eat a less healthy diet than people who don’t drink sugary drinks. If everything else in their diet is equal, a person who has a can of cola a day adds an extra 14.5 pounds in body fat per year, just from the calories alone. This extra weight gained through drinking sugary drinks often contributes to adverse heart conditions such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.

However researchers found that having an otherwise healthy diet, or being at a healthy weight, only slightly lowers the risk associated with drinking sugary drinks. This suggests that weighing too much, or simply consuming too many calories, may only partly explain the relationship between sugary drinks and heart disease.


  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed.
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back.

What you can do.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet. You should also try to avoid too much sugar in your diet as this can increase your chances of developing diabetes, which is proven to dramatically increase your chances of developing heart disease.

Combining a healthy diet with regular exercise is the best way of maintaining a healthy weight. Having a healthy weight reduces your chances of developing high blood pressure. Reducing the sugar in your diet can drastically reduce your calorie intake and help you to lose weight. Regular exercise will make your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient, lower your cholesterol level, and also keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

If you smoke, giving up will reduce your risk of developing chronic heart disease. Smoking is a major risk factor for developing atherosclerosis (furring of the arteries). It also causes the majority of cases of coronary thrombosis in people under the age of 50.

If you drink alcohol it is important to remain within the recommended guidelines. The recommended daily amount of alcohol for men is three to four units a day and two to three units for women. It is important to avoid binge drinking as this increases the risk of a heart attack. (If you usually drink everyday, try to have at least 2 days a week when you don’t drink alcohol).

Learn how to reduce your sugar intake from drinks here

How much Sugar are you drinking?

How many sugary drinks do you drink per week?

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