So It Turns Out That Soda Is Actually as Bad for You as Cigarettes Are

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Remember Mayor Bloomberg? Little guy who was pretty sure he knew more about what was good and bad for you than you did yourself? Who also had a huge dislike for guns, cigarettes, and soda? Think back! Yeah, that’s him. Well, in the same way that Bloomberg was right about the dangers of guns and cigarettes, turns out that he also was totally right about how bad soda is for you. 

Via Mother Jones, we learned the rather disturbing news that there is a definitive “link between regular soda consumption and premature aging.” A study done by the Journal of Public Health “compared the cells of people who drink soda every day to those of their non-soda-drinking counterparts. In the soda group, the ends of the chromosomes—known as telomeres—were shorter, a sign of their cells’ diminished ability to regenerate.” This type of premature aging can be caused by a few different known behaviors (like smoking), but a link to soda-drinking not yet been established. Just how bad is soda drinking? Well, “people who drank a 20-ounce soda every day experienced an additional 4.6 years of telomere aging—the same amount observed in smokers.” That’s pretty bad!

The scientists cite the extremely high sugar content of soda as the culprit here, though similar consumption levels of 100% fruit juice did not have the same effect on subjects as soda did. (Diet soda also proved relatively harmless, so, you know, Diet Coke forever!) We guess that this might be just the time for de Blasio to be revisiting that soda ban after all.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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