Sugar is turning out to be more dangerous than previously thought. That’s the conclusion of a large epidemiological study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. More than 30,000 people were questioned in detail about their health and their diets between 1988 and 2010. Approximately 11,000 adults were included in a study that linked mortality to diet. The conclusions are pretty chilling. As added sugar makes up a greater proportion of the diet, the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke climbs. People who got 25% or more of their calories from sugar, whether in soft drinks, desserts, or candy or cereal, were almost three times more likely to die during the study from cardiovascular causes. For those eating 2,000 calories a day, 25% translates into 500 calories from sugar or roughly 31 teaspoons.
An epidemiological study like this can’t establish cause and effect, although the scientists did control for exercise, smoking, drinking and other relevant behaviors. But it might give all of us reason to wonder whether it is time to rein in our sweet tooth.