Sugary Drinks Linked to Over 180K Deaths Per Year

(HealthDay News) – Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) may be linked to over 180,000 deaths in the world each year, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from March 19–22 in New Orleans.

Gitanjali M. Singh, PhD, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data collected in the Global Burden of Diseases Study. The effect of SSB intake on change in body mass index (BMI) and the effect of elevated BMI on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer were examined.

The researchers found that there were 180,000 deaths worldwide attributable to SSB consumption, including 133,000 attributable to diabetes, 44,000 to cardiovascular disease, and 6,000 to cancers. Diabetes deaths related to the consumption of SSBs were the highest in Latin American and the Caribbean (38,000 deaths), while cardiovascular deaths related to the consumption of SSBs were highest in East/Central Eurasia (11,000 deaths). Of the world’s 15 most populous countries, Mexico had the highest mortality rate due to SSBs, with 318 deaths per million adults linked to SSB intake. In contrast, Japan, with the lowest per-capita consumption of SSBs, had the lowest mortality rate due to SSB intake (approximately 10 deaths per million adults).

“Because we were focused on deaths due to chronic diseases, our study focused on adults,” Singh said. “Future research should assess the amount of sugary beverage consumption in children across the world and how this affects their current and future health.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries.

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