Sugary drinks have another side effect which, according to research published online Tuesday in the journal Human Reproduction, leads to premature menstrual periods. Girls who are addicted to sweet drinks will find themselves having menstrual periods earlier than those who don’t.
Aside from tooth decays, cavities, gingivitis, and obesity, there is a greater risk of developing breast cancer among those who over indulge.
The aim of the study, according to the research group, is determine the connection between sugary drinks, like soft drinks, sweet ice teas, and non-carbonated beverages, such as lemonade or fruit drinks, and the time when the girls start to have their monthly cycle.
The findings of the research revealed that girls who tend to consume more than 1.5 helpings of sweet drinks daily, had their first monthly period, 2.7 months earlier compared to those who imbibe less of the sweet offerings. What the report failed to mention is how many ounces constitute one helping. This can vary in the U.S. between 8 ounces and 20 ounces.
The outcome was not influenced by the body mass index or BMI of the volunteers’ height, amount of food eaten, including practices such as active life style.
There were 5,583 girl-participants whose ages ranged from 9 to 14. The research was conducted between 1996 and 2001. The results showed that those who consume a lot of sugary beverages began to have their menstrual cycle at the age of 12.8 years compared to 13 to those who drank less. The volunteers were part of the Growing Up research, which monitors 16,875 children in Nurses’ Health Study II group.
Also included in the study were diet sodas and fruit juices to determine the effect of artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners. The finding was they have no impact at which girls started to have their monthly periods.
The 2.7 months may not be highly significant when it’s taken individually, but at population level, it is a different story, says Harvard School of Public Health epidemiologist Dr. Jenny Carwile, the study’s lead author. “They (the findings) are actually very powerful because consumption of these kinds of drinks is something that can be modified,” she says.