Study Links Poor Health To Heart Disease Risk

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Experts have linked sugar consumption to heart disease; an editorial in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine claims that excessive sugar in fast food and ready meals can contribute to heart disease, as well as fat and salt.

Co-author of the paper, Dr Ahmed Rashid, from the department of public health and primary care at the University of Cambridge, said that most people are aware of the potential implications of eating fatty and salty foods, but sugar is a real problem. Dr Rashid said that it is well-documented that salt and fat increases the risk of a heart attack, but sugar is another way in which junk food contributes to poor heart health.

Experts believe that gum disease, which is associated with poor oral hygiene and a poor diet, can trigger an inflammatory response, which contributes to cardiovascular disease through atherosclerosis, which causes fatty deposits to collect in the arteries.

The paper highlighted the risks of “free sugars”, which are found naturally in honey and fruit juices and added to fizzy drinks and soft drinks by manufacturers, describing as “particularly potent drivers” of periodontal disease.

Dr Rashid said that the findings of the study and other studies suggest that the population of the UK should be advised against consuming sugary drinks and fast food and encouraged to improve oral hygiene.

An American doctor has already highlighted the dangers of sugar, describing it as “addictive and toxic”, yet the latest guidelines in the UK mention it only indirectly in literature relating to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Tracy Parker, from the British Heart Foundation, said that she supports the introduction of a 20% soft drink tax, which would help to reduce sugar consumption and in turn, lower rates of obesity and heart disease

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