We tested whether leukocyte telomere length maintenance, which underlies healthy cellular aging, provides a link between sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and the risk of cardiometabolic disease.

Methods. We examined cross-sectional associations between the consumption of SSBs, diet soda, and fruit juice and telomere length in a nationally representative sample of healthy adults. The study population included 5309 US adults, aged 20 to 65 years, with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, from the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Leukocyte telomere length was assayed from DNA specimens.

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