Led by Zumin Shi, MD, PhD, of the University of Adelaide, researchers conducted computer assisted telephone interviewing among 16,907 participants aged 16 years and older in South Australia between March 2008 and June 2010 inquiring about soft drink consumption. Soft drinks comprised Coke, lemonade, flavored mineral water, Powerade, and Gatorade etc.
Results showed that one in ten adults drink more than half a liter of soft drink daily in South Australia. The amount of soft drink consumption is associated with an increased chance of asthma and/or COPD. There exists a dose-response relationship, which means the more soft drink one consumes, the higher the chance of having these diseases.
Overall, 13.3% of participants with asthma and 15.6% of those with COPD reported consuming more than half a liter of soft drink per day.
The odds ratio for asthma and COPD was 1.26 and 1.79, comparing those who consumed more than half a liter of soft drink per day with those who did not consume soft drinks.
Furthermore, smoking makes this relationship even worse, especially for COPD. Compared with those who did not smoke and consume soft drinks, those that consumed more than half a liter of soft drink per day and were current smokers had a 6.6-fold greater risk of COPD.
"Our study emphasizes the importance of healthy eating and drinking in the prevention of chronic diseases like asthma and COPD," Zumin concludes.