A leading researcher has urged people to stop drinking fizzy beverages immediately or risk serious health problems.
Dr Hans-Peter Kubis has just finished a study of how soft drinks affect our bodies and has reached some shocking conclusions.
Kubis has now sworn off "evil" fizzy drinks, and thinks everyone else should do the same.
"Having seen all the medical evidence, I don't touch soft drinks now," Kubis said. "I think drinks with added sugar are, frankly, evil."
Kubis and his team from Bangor University found that as little as two cans of soft drink a week can wreak havoc on our health.
Previous studies have suggested that even moderate consumption appeared to increase the risk of heart disease, liver failure, pancreatic cancer and hypertension.
Kubis' study published this week in European Journal of Nutrition found that such drinks might also alter our metabolisms so we rapidly gain weight.
The study concluded that sugary drinks can change the way we burn fat, making our muscles more inclined to burn sugar instead.
This results in weight gain and a reduced ability to regulate blood sugar, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Australian researcher Dr Bamini Gopinath from Sydney University's Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research conducted a study investigating the link between soft drink consumption and heart disease in children.
He has also stopped consuming soft drink as a result of his research, and thinks other Australians should too.
"I'm not sure if they are 'evil' but there's certainly no nutritional value in drinking soft drinks," he said.
"They have been associated with so many chronic disease it is best to avoid consuming them. Australians should definitely stop drinking fizzy drinks."
The Australian Beverage Council has rubbished Kubis' study, saying the small sample size and lack of control group make any findings invalid.
"This highly flawed study cannot be used to state that soft drinks are directly responsible for weight gain, diabetes and other chronic health problems," the council's Chief Executive Officer Geoff Parker said.
Parker also rejected claims that soft drink is contributing to the obesity epidemic, saying no one product can be singled out for blame when so many factors contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.
"People consume many different foods and beverage so no one single food or beverage is responsible for people being overweight," he said.
"All calories count and it is the total diet or overall pattern of foods and beverages eaten that should be the focus of a healthy eating style."
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