The Sweet Menace: Artificially Sweetened Beverages Linked to Liver Damage and Increased Cancer Risk


In recent studies, a startling connection has been uncovered between certain sweetened beverages and adverse health effects, ranging from liver damage to an increased risk of cancer. Often regarded as a delight by both adults and children, these artificially sweetened drinks have earned the nickname “happy water.” However, research now suggests that their regular and excessive consumption could pose significant risks to health, with a staggering 78% increase in the likelihood of developing fatty liver disease when consumed in large quantities on a daily basis.


The sweeteners used in these beverages, despite providing a sugar-free alternative, may have detrimental effects on the liver and overall health. Some artificial sweeteners have been linked to an elevated risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver. NAFLD, if left unchecked, can progress to more severe liver issues and has also been associated with an increased risk of liver cancer.

The “Happy Water” Dilemma:
The term “happy water” may mask the potential dangers associated with these sweetened drinks. The joy derived from the sugary taste may come at the expense of liver health and an increased vulnerability to serious medical conditions. Regular consumers, both adults and children, need to be aware of the risks posed by excessive and daily intake of these seemingly innocuous beverages.

Fatty Liver Disease and Cancer Risk:
Studies reveal that individuals who consume artificial sweetened beverages in large quantities on a daily basis face a staggering 78% higher risk of developing fatty liver disease. Additionally, the potential link between fatty liver disease and an increased risk of liver cancer underscores the severity of the health risks associated with this popular but perilous habit.


The allure of “happy water” and artificially sweetened beverages may be enticing, but the hidden health risks should not be ignored. The evidence connecting these drinks to liver damage and an elevated risk of cancer is a cause for concern. To safeguard both adult and child health, it is crucial to limit the consumption of these beverages and opt for healthier alternatives. Prioritizing water, natural fruit juices, and other non-sweetened options can contribute to better overall health and reduce the risks associated with excessive artificial sweetener intake.

How harmful are sugary drinks? Here’s the answer from a professional doctor.

In a study published in the European Journal of Public Health in July 2022, it was found that deaths due to excessive consumption of sugary drinks almost doubled over a 30-year period from 1990 to 2019, and the mortality rate increased by 35%.

Data showed that in 2019, deaths due to sugary drinks reached 46,600, an increase of 95% compared to 1990. The number of male deaths due to sugary drinks and the increase in deaths over the past 30 years was higher than for females.

The burden of cardiovascular disease and diabetes deaths due to excessive consumption of sugary drinks is particularly prominent. Over the past 30 years, deaths due to ischemic heart disease and diabetes increased by 95% and 94% respectively.

The study’s authors pointed out that excessive consumption of sugary drinks, like overweight and obesity, hypertension, red meat intake, alcohol consumption, and smoking, has become an increasingly common behavioral risk factor.

4 methods to help you quit sugary drinks:

  1. Gradually drink less and reduce frequency

Sugary drinks have a high sugar content, which for some people who like sweet foods has already formed a physical and psychological dependence. After a few days without drinking, both physically and psychologically you may want to drink some. You can limit yourself, for example, from drinking 5 cups a week to only 3 cups next week, gradually reducing the frequency of drinking.

  1. Replace with other healthy drinks

You can replace sugary drinks with healthy drinks like tea, milk, lemon water, etc. This not only solves the problem of tasteless water but also avoids the health risks brought by sugary drinks.

  1. Ensure sufficient water intake to stay neither hungry nor thirsty

Drink reasonable amounts of water to keep yourself neither hungry nor thirsty, reducing the desire for sugary drinks. In addition, you can find more things to do, especially things that interest you, to distract your attention from sugary drinks.

  1. Have self-control when facing sugary drinks

The most important thing is your self-control. Recognize the harm that sugary drinks bring to your body. If you can resist not drinking for just one day, then gradually increase the time period of resisting (usually one week to one month), you will gradually get rid of your dependence on sugary drinks and develop the habit of not drinking or drinking less sugary drinks.

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