It’s been clear for a while that sugar-filled sodas are a major contributor to the obesity epidemic sweeping America. But now it seems like they may be diminishing our lifespans just as they expand our waistlines.
A new study from the University of California San Francisco showed that drinking sugary drinks is associated with cell aging, which in turn reduces longevity. The reason for this result comes down to tiny units of DNA called telomeres. The length and quality of telomeres, which cap the ends of chromosomes in cells, are a determining factor in lifespan—and it looks like a can of Pepsi with lunch will snip away at telomeres’ length at an alarming rate.