Sugary drinks may kill 184,000 people each year
A new study suggests around 184,000 global deaths a year can be linked to sugary drinks. Gitanjali Singh of Harvard University and colleagues examined survey data covering 60 per cent of the world’s population to get a global picture of the consumption of beverages with added sugar. They worked out the obesity rates resulting from sugary drink consumption and looked at the number of deaths from obesity-related diseases to calculate that 184,000 deaths each year could be associated with sugary beverages about the same number as are killed globally each year by asthma. Diabetes accounted for about 70 per cent of these deaths; heart disease and certain cancers accounted for the rest. The study only shows an association between deaths and sugary drinks, but Rachel Johnson at the University of Vermont in Burlington says that the idea of a real link is biologically plausible. “The cost of treating these diseases is going to crush our healthcare system,” says Johnson. The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s conference on Epidemiology and Prevention, Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism, in New Orleans, Louisiana.