Research published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation may give people enough incentive to put down their bottle of soda.
The study reveals that teenagers whose diets contain high levels of added sugar are more likely to have high bad cholesterol levels, which could ultimately lead to heart disease.
Study author Jean Welsh says some teens' diets contain too many unhealthy choices.
"Adolescents are eating 20 percent of their daily calories in sugars that provide few if any other nutrients," says Welsh. "Sweet things have lost their status as treats."
It's important for people of all ages to consume a balanced diet that emphasizes choices low in fat and oil.
Teens could face a variety of consequences later in life for their poor food decisions. In addition to being at a higher risk of a heart disease diagnosis, obese individuals are also more likely to develop some forms of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Treating such medical conditions can be costly in terms of health and life insurance. It's not uncommon for insurers to charge increased rates to those who are considered a higher risk to cover.