According to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism meeting last week, sugar-sweetened sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks may be associated with a staggering 180,000 deaths around the world each year,
Researchers calculated the quantities of sugar-sweetened beverage intake around the world by age and sex. They also looked at the effects of this on obesity and diabetes. Using data from the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study, they linked intake of sweetened beverages to 133,000 diabetes deaths, 44,000 cardiovascular disease deaths and 6,000 cancer deaths.
78% of these deaths were in low and middle-income countries. But that doesn’t mean America is off the hook.
“In the U.S., our research shows that about 25,000 deaths in 2010 were linked to drinking sugar-sweetened beverages,” said Gitanjali M. Singh, PhD, co-author of the study.
Of nine world regions in 2010:
- Latin America/Caribbean had the most diabetes deaths (38,000) related to sugar-sweetened beverages
- East/Central Eurasia had the largest numbers of cardiovascular deaths (11,000) related to sugary beverage consumption
Among the world’s 15 most populous countries, Mexico had the highest death rate due to these beverages, with 318 deaths per million adults.
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 per million adults.
“Because we were focused on deaths due to chronic diseases, our study focused on adults. Future research should assess the amount of sugary beverage consumption in children across the world and how this affects their current and future health,” Singh said.
In the meantime, the American Heart Association recommends adults consume no more than 450 calories per week, from sugar-sweetened beverages.
And don’t assume you’re OK just because you drink diet, rather than regular soda. According to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in 2011, drinking diet soda daily is linked to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular-related deaths, compared to those who don’t drink soda. Even though you are avoiding the sugar calories, the high salt content may double the risk of ischemic stroke, independent of sodium’s role in hypertension.
Here at SRxA’s Word on Health we’re canning the cans and from now on it will be water all the way!