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Children's soft drink use linked to disease [news]

PRECURSORY signs of cardiovascular disease can be seen in children as young as 12 who have a high intake of sugary drinks, Sydney researchers have found, which could have implications for the rates of the disease in the future. While narrowed blood vessels inside the eye are a known precursor to cardiovascular disease in adults, researchers from the Westmead Millennium Institute for medical research have for the first time looked at the link between carbohydrates, which includes sugars, and the retinal health of children.

Nearly 2000 12-year-olds had retinal images taken at the Centre for Vision Research at the University of Sydney. Narrowing of the retinal arteries was seen in those children with an intake of more than 274 grams of carbohydrate a day.

A major source of those carbohydrates was soft drinks or cordial, found the study published in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, with high-risk children consuming one or more glasses a day.

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