Juices and sodas aren’t bad if you drink them once in a while, but if you’re the kind of person who must have a sweet beverage with every meal, then chances are, this habit has already started affecting your genes.

According to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, people who regularly consume sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) may be more genetically prone to becoming obese. The study, reported by MedicalNewsToday.com, presents the dynamics between diet and DNA, proving that the issue of weight gain isn’t just skin deep.

Senior author Lu Qui and his team came to this conclusion by gathering data from 33,097 Caucasian adults and dividing them into four groups based on their consumption of sugary drinks in the span of a month. The Very Low Consumption Group included those who only drank one sugary drink per month, the Low Consumption Group drank one to four cups per month, the Medium Consumption Group drank two to six cups per week, while the High Consumption Group drank at least one cup per day. Findings were then studied based on 32 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (a kind of DNA sequence) that affect a person’s body mass index (BMI).

The results revealed that those who were in the High Consumption Group were twice as likely to become obese due to their genes as those who were in the Very Low Consumption Group, suggesting that regularly consuming sugary drinks may amp up your genetic predisposition for obesity.

So before you have yourself another glass of iced tea, think first how many sweetened drinks you’ve had before that. If you’ve already had a soda before that, just opt for a glass of water instead. Your DNA will thank you for it.

(Photo by Jaymie Koroluk via Flickr Creative Commons)

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