A new study looked at whether America’s thirst for soda speeds up how the body’s cells age.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco used a sample of 5300 healthy adults. Dr. Elissa Epel worked on the study for 5 years.

“We think we can get away with drinking lots of soda as long as we are not gaining weight, but this suggests that there is an invisible pathway that leads to accelerated aging, regardless of weight,” said Dr. Epel.

Epel’s team discovered that in people who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages, the ends of their chromosomes, known as telomeres, were shorter.

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