(RNN) – A new study finds a connection between sugar-sweetened beverages and kidney disease.
The research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says there’s a link between sugary drinks – both soda and sweetened fruit drinks – and the chance of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD).
CKD is the gradual loss of kidney function and can lead to kidney failure.
“There is a lack of comprehensive information on the health implications of the wide range of beverage options that are available in the food supply,” lead author Casey Rebholz told ScienceDaily.
"In particular, there is limited information on which types of beverages and patterns of beverages are associated with kidney disease risk in particular."
The study followed about 3,000 African-American men and women with normal kidney function who were part of another study tracking risk factors for other diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes and diabetes.
The results show the third of the group that drank the most sugar-sweetened drinks were 61 percent more likely to develop CKD than the third that drank the least.
“These results contribute to the growing body of literature elucidating the negative health consequences of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages,” according to the report published in the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology.
Some see the study as a public health wake-up call.
"While a few select U.S. cities have successfully reduced SSB [sugar sweetened beverage] consumption via taxation, all other municipalities have resisted public health efforts to lower SSB consumption," Holly Kramer and David Shoham wrote in an editorial that accompanied the study.
"This cultural resistance to reducing SSB consumption can be compared to the cultural resistance to smoking cessation during the 1960s after the Surgeon General report was released. During the 1960s, tobacco use was viewed as a social choice and not a medical or social public health problem."
In the early 1960s, more than 40 percent of American adults smoked. The number was 14 percent in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We’ll see if folks are as willing to give up their soft drinks, fruit juices and energy drinks as they were cigarettes.