Health Medical Pharma

Study says little sugar in tea, coffee does not pose health risks

HQ Team

October 28, 2023: A recent study conducted by a team of researchers from Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom challenges the common assumption that adding sugar to your daily cup of coffee or tea is detrimental to your health. Analyzing data from the Copenhagen Male Study, the researchers found no increased risk of all-cause mortality, diabetes, or deaths attributed to cancer or heart disease in men who sweetened their hot beverages.

The Copenhagen Male Study, initiated in the 1970s, included Danish men aged 40-59. The study involved assessments of heart and lung health and lifestyle questionnaires. During follow-up appointments, participants were surveyed about their coffee and tea consumption and sugar addition.

Research method

For the present research, data from 2,923 men with no prior history of heart disease, cancer, or type 2 diabetes were analyzed

The researchers divided participants into sugar and non-sugar groups and calculated risks for various health outcomes.

  • The amount of sugar added was not specified, but it was assumed to be minimal.
  • The death rate in the sugar group was 89.9%, while the “no sugar” group had a rate of 87.5%.
  • No significant association between sugar use and all-cause mortality was found.
  • Heart disease mortality rates for the sugar and “no sugar” groups were comparable at 38.2%  and 35.3%, respectively
  • The “no sugar” group had a slightly higher rate of type 2 diabetes, but there was no significant difference over time.
  • “Important findings of this study were that, when correcting for important confounders, there was no statistically significant association between the use of sugar in coffee and tea and all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, cancer mortality or incident diabetes mellitus,” write the authors.
Pass the sugar

Medical experts caution against taking the study as a pass for free sugar intake. They warned that the study focused on self-reporting and beverages made at home, which generally carry less sugar compared to commercial beverages. Many food and beverage items contain hidden added sugars.

The CDC recommends that added sugar should account for less than 10% of caloric intake. While this study challenges the notion that adding sugar to coffee or tea is detrimental, it’s crucial to be mindful of the broader context of one’s sugar consumption.

The study was published in PLOS ONE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *