Rates of obesity are rising worldwide and added sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, is thought to be one of the main culprits.
Sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar.
Consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire for food more than glucose, the main type of sugar found in starchy foods (3Trusted Source).
Additionally, excessive fructose consumption may cause resistance to leptin, an important hormone that regulates hunger and tells your body to stop eating (4Trusted Source).
In other words, sugary beverages don’t curb your hunger, making it easy to quickly consume a high number of liquid calories. This can lead to weight gain.
Research has consistently shown that people who drink sugary beverages, such as soda and juice, weigh more than people who don’t (5Trusted Source).
Also, drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to an increased amount of visceral fat, a kind of deep belly fat associated with conditions like diabetes and heart disease (6Trusted Source).
High-sugar diets have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases, including heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide (7Trusted Source).
Evidence suggests that high-sugar diets can lead to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride, blood sugar and blood pressure levels — all risk factors for heart disease (8Trusted Source).
Additionally, consuming too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, has been linked to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits (9Trusted Source).
A study in over 30,000 people found that those who consumed 17–21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar (10Trusted Source).
Just one 16-ounce (473-ml) can of soda contains 52 grams of sugar, which equates to more than 10% of your daily calorie consumption, based on a 2,000-calorie diet (11).
This means that one sugary drink a day can already put you over the recommended daily limitfor added sugar.
A diet high in refined carbs, including sugary foods and drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of developing acne.
Foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed sweets, raise your blood sugar more rapidly than foods with a lower glycemic index.
Sugary foods quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation, all of which play a role in acne development (12Trusted Source).
Studies have shown that low-glycemic diets are associated with a reduced acne risk, while high-glycemic diets are linked to a greater risk (13Trusted Source).
For example, a study in 2,300 teens demonstrated that those who frequently consumed added sugar had a 30% greater risk of developing acne (14Trusted Source).
Also, many population studies have shown that rural communities that consume traditional, non-processed foods have almost non-existent rates of acne, compared to more urban, high-income areas (15Trusted Source).
These findings coincide with the theory that diets high in processed, sugar-laden foods contribute to the development of acne.
The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years (16Trusted Source).
Though there are many reasons for this, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk.
Obesity, which is often caused by consuming too much sugar, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes (17Trusted Source).
What’s more, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.
A population study comprising over 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes grew by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar, or about one can of soda, consumed per day (18Trusted Source).
Other studies have also shown that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juice, are more likely to develop diabetes.
While a healthy diet can help improve your mood, a diet high in added sugar and processed foods may increase your chances of developing depression.
Consuming a lot of processed foods, including high-sugar products such as cakes and sugary drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of depression (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).
Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysregulation and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s detrimental impact on mental health (27Trusted Source).
A study following 8,000 people for 22 years showed that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day (28Trusted Source).
Another study in over 69,000 women demonstrated that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a significantly greater risk of depression, compared to those with the lowest intakes.
Source : healthline