Sugary soda linked to 180,000 deaths globally each year

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sugary soda linked to 180,000 deaths globally each year

Related tags: Death, Obesity

Sugar-sweetened sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks may be associated with about 180,000 deaths around the world each year, according to research.

The data, presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, links intake of sugar- sweetened beverages to 133,000 diabetes deaths, 44,000 deaths from cardiovascular diseases and 6,000 cancer deaths.

Using data collected as part of the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study, researchers led by Dr Gitanjali Singh from the Harvard School of Public Health reveal that 78% of the 180,000 deaths due to over-consuming sugary drinks were in low and middle-income countries, rather than high-income countries.

Researchers calculated the quantities of sugar-sweetened beverage intake around the world by age and sex; the effects of this consumption on obesity and diabetes; and the impact of obesity and diabetes-related deaths.

"Because we were focused on deaths due to chronic diseases, our study focused on adults,” ​explained Singh.

“Future research should assess the amount of sugary beverage consumption in children across the world and how this affects their current and future health,"​ she said.

Study details

Singh and her colleagues calculated the quantities of sugar-sweetened beverage intake around the world by age and sex; the effects of this consumption on obesity and diabetes; and the impact of obesity and diabetes-related deaths.

Mexico, one of the countries with the highest per-capita consumption of sugary beverages in the world, was found to have the highest death rate due to these beverages, with 318 deaths per million adults linked to sugar-sweetened beverage intake.

Japan, one of the countries with lowest per-capita consumption of sugary beverages in the world, had the lowest death rate associated with the consumption of sugary beverages, at about 10 deaths due to per million adults.

The team also reported that of nine world regions, Latin America/Caribbean had the most diabetes deaths (38,000) related to the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in 2010. East/Central Eurasia had the largest numbers of cardiovascular deaths (11,000) related to sugary beverage consumption in 2010. 

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