Drinking sugary beverages may result in an approximately 184,000 adult deaths every year, according to a study published in the journal Circulation.

Researchers from Tufts University estimated deaths and disabilities from diabetes, heart disease, and cancers in 2010 associated with consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks. For the analysis, sugar-sweetened beverages were defined as any sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, or homemade sugary drinks (eg, frescas), that contained ≥50kcal per 8oz serving; 100% fruit juice was excluded.

Investigators estimated consumption based on 62 dietary surveys which included 611,971 individuals conducted between 1980-2010 across 51 countries, in addition to data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries and other information. The direct impact on diabetes and the obesity-related effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer were then calculated.

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In 2010, approximately 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease, and 6,450 deaths from cancer may have been due to consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Demographically, the death percentage was <1% in Japanese adults aged >65 years, but 30% in Mexican adults aged <45 years. Mexico also had the highest death rate attributable to sugar-sweetened drinks with about 405 deaths per million adults and the U.S. was second with an estimated 125 deaths per million adults. The percent of chronic disease attributed to sugar-sweetened beverages was higher in younger adults than in older adults.

Researchers concluded if young adults continue to consume high levels of sugar-sweetened beverages as they get older, it may lead to higher death and disability rates from heart disease and diabetes.

For more information visit Tufts.edu.