CHICAGO (TIP): Could too much sugar be deadly? The biggest US study of its kind suggests the answer is yes, at least when it comes to fatal heart problems. It doesn’t take all that much extra sugar, hidden in many processed foods, to substantially raise the risk, the researchers found, and most Americans eat more than the safest amount. Being in the highest risk category in the study means your chance of dying prematurely from heart problems is nearly three times greater than for people who eat only foods with little added sugar.

For someone who normally eats 2,000 calories daily, even consuming two 340-gram cans of soda substantially increases the risk. For most American adults, sodas and other sugary drinks are the main source of added sugar. Quanhe Yang of the US Centres of Disease Control and Prevention said that it’s the first nationally representative study to examine the issue. Scientists aren’t certain how sugar may contribute to heart problems, but it has been shown to increase blood pressure and levels of unhealthy cholesterol.

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