Atlanta, GA—Fresh data analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests excessive sugar intake may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, both based here, and Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, used data collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 1988–1994 [III], 1999–2004 and 2005–2010), involving 31,147 individuals and the 1988–2006 NHANES III Linked Mortality cohort, involving 11,733 people (with 831 deaths from heart disease).

From 2005 to 2010, 71% of study participants consumed more than 10% of their day’s calories from added sugar; about one in 10 adults in the study consumed over 25% of calories from added sugar. In considering mortality, it was found that those who took in 10–25% of their daily calories from added sugar were at greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who took in less than 10%. If more than 25% of the day’s calories came from added sugar, the risk of dying from heart disease nearly tripled.

The World Health Organization suggests one’s daily caloric intake from added sugar should not exceed 10%.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2014 (online 2/7/14, updated 2/11/14)