A new study into the health impact of sugary drinks has found that that consumption of regular soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages may contribute to around 184,000 global deaths a year.
Researchers from Harvard University analysed dietary survey data covering 60 per cent of the world’s population to get a global picture of the consumption of sugary drinks, as well the number of deaths from certain diseases.
After determining the rates of obesity resulting from sugary drink consumption and examining the number of deaths from chronic, obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, they calculated that 184,000 deaths each year were associated with sugary drinks .
The majority of these deaths (around 70%) were due to complications of type 2 diabetes, which suggests that sugary drink consumption may have contributed to around 133,000 diabetes-related deaths worldwide.
Furthermore, deaths varied by nation. Mexico had the highest rate of death linked to sugary beverages among the 15 most populated nations at 318 annual deaths per million adults, while Japan had the lowest at 10 yearly deaths per million adults.
Lead researcher Gitanjali M. Singh, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, said: “Our findings should push policy makers world-wide to make effective policies to reduce consumption of sugary beverages, such as taxatio, mass-media campaigns, and reducing availability of these drinks .”
The study was presented earlier this week at an American Heart Association conference in New Orleans.

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