Yes, there’s an association. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether the soda pop you drink is “regular” or diet.

But can we rely on these findings?

In case you forgot, the metabolic syndrome is a condition marked by the presence of 3 or more of the following: high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high triglyceride levels, low HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance. Their presence is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The results come from the Framingham Heart Study of more than 6000 adults followed for 4 years.

  • New-onset metabolic syndrome developed in 19% of participants who consumed less than 1 drink per day but in 23% of those consuming 1 or more soft drinks per day.
  • A significant difference

How could this be?
Nobody knows. The authors review possible reasons. Most associate soft drinks with poor eating habits.

The bottom line?
This strikes me as just another in a long list of associations that might or might not be related. The authors aren’t sure why they found what they did, and I’m not changing my habits based on one hyped study by the media.

Sorry to be so abrupt, but the breathless reports by the local TV stations last night accompanied by the boilerplate admonitions to be careful what you eat made me a bit nauseated.

7/24/07 10:06 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.