Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with the Metabolic Syndrome: A Two Sample Comparison

Nutrients. 2015 May 13;7(5):3569-86. doi: 10.3390/nu7053569.


Comparative analyses of soft drink intakes in samples from the United States and Europe, and assessed intakes in relation to prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its individual components are currently lacking. We used data collected on cardiovascular health and dietary intakes in participants from two cross-sectional studies: the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS), conducted in Central New York, USA in 2001-2006 (n = 803), and the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg Study (ORISCAV-LUX), conducted in 2007-2009 (n = 1323). Odds ratios for MetS were estimated according to type and quantity of soft drink consumption, adjusting for demographic, lifestyle and dietary factors, in both studies. In both studies, individuals who consumed at least one soft drink per day had a higher prevalence of MetS, than non-consumers. This was most evident for consumers of diet soft drinks, consistent across both studies. Diet soft drink intakes were also positively associated with waist circumference and fasting plasma glucose in both studies. Despite quite different consumption patterns of diet versus regular soft drinks in the two studies, findings from both support the notion that diet soft drinks are associated with a higher prevalence of MetS.

Keywords: diet soft drink; international comparison; metabolic syndrome; soft drink.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbonated Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet, Reducing / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Luxembourg / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Non-Nutritive Sweeteners / adverse effects*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist Circumference


  • Non-Nutritive Sweeteners