Posted on: September 27th, 2022

Sugary drinks may be more dangerous than we thought when it comes to our children’s health. A recent study showed that excessive sugary drink intake may lead to an increased risk of adolescent hypertension.

What is Adolescent Hypertension?

Adolescent hypertension is hypertension that develops in childhood. Health risks associated with untreated/unrecognized hypertension include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke

While these are serious health risks, they won’t directly affect most children. The problem, however, is that these health conditions will become much more likely later in life. And, as hypertension is often undiagnosed and unrecognized for long periods of time, these health risks can occur without warning. 

Hypertension is basically impossible to detect without the help of a medical professional (or at least accurate blood pressure monitor readings). It is due to this fact that adolescent hypertension often goes undiagnosed.

The Prevalence of Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are nearly everywhere, especially for children. Sugary sodas add calories with no beneficial nutrients and, therefore, should be monitored in a child’s diet as they can replace foods that have important nutrients. In fact, larger servings of some of the sugar-sweetened sodas have more sugar in them than some candy bars!

The best way to avoid excessive sugar intake from drinks is to read the nutrition labels & ingredients. 

Avoiding High-Sugar Low-Nutrient Drinks

Association research has found that a high intake of sugary drinks is associated with increased odds of developing hypertension in adolescents. Although more studies are needed to confirm the exact nature of this association,  parents should be aware of the amounts of sugary drinks their children consume and help limit drinks that have high sugar with no/limited nutrients or food group benefits.

Making sure your children have water or non-sweetened beverages to take to school is one idea. Many school cafeterias and vending machines sell drinks that have extremely high amounts of sugar. Avoiding these drinks is imperative when it comes to dodging adolescent hypertension.

Research at Biofortis

Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.

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