Case for the prosecution
Sodas, candy bars and sweet breakfast cereals are entwined in modern life — along with a lot of other questionable choices and bad habits. It's hard to know exactly what all of that sugar is doing to our bodies, but scientists are making headway. Some not-so-sweet findings:
• In an unusual — and revealing — experiment from 2011, researchers at UC Davis fed 48 young adults a sugary but carefully controlled diet. In just two weeks, subjects who got 25% of their calories from either fructose or high-fructose corn syrup saw a jump in their cholesterol levels. A similar study from 2008 found that sugary drinks decreased insulin sensitivity and increased visceral fat in overweight subjects.
A study that followed more than 42,000 men for 22 years, published in March, found a correlation between sugary drink consumption and heart attacks — men who drank a single 12-ounce sugary soda every day were about 20% more likely to have a heart attack during the study period. It's not clear if the extra sugar was directly to blame, though, since people who drink sodas may do other things that put them at risk.