Joel Callen

News

Mon, 6 Jul, 2015

Sugary drinks linked to 184,000 global deaths a year

Sugary drinks linked to 184,000 global deaths a year

Research shows that sugary drinks may cause up to 184,000 deaths around the world each year. The study, published in the journal Circulation, looked at the risks of death caused by diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancers linked to the consumption of sugary drinks such as soft drink.

The study estimated that approximately 133,000 people died from diabetes due to the consumption of “sugar-sweetened beverages” while 45,000 died from cardiovascular diseases due to consumption of sugary drinks, and 6,450 people died from cancers linked to the sweet beverages.

“Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages. It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, the author of the study, from Tufts University in Boston.

A Harvard University fact sheet, ‘Sugar drink supersizing and the obesity epidemic’, showed that consuming just one can of soft drink each day can lead to significant health problems.

Take that up to 1-2 cans per day and these people have a 26 per cent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who rarely consume soft drink. For each can consumed a day, the odds of children becoming obese increased by 60 per cent in the next 1.5 years.

The report showed that Mexico had the highest death rate due to sweet drinks, with a rate of 450 deaths per million adults. In second place was the United States with 125 estimated deaths per million adults.

The total quantity of sugar available in a country was related to their frequency of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, the researchers found. They also showed that 76 per cent of deaths related to the consumption of sweet drinks happened in low to middle income countries.

For the CEO of Australian Beverages Council Geoff Parker, this research was “purely further scaremongering”.

In a statement to news.com.au Mr Parker said that “the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, from where the quoted study has obtained their data, suggests that in Australia the biggest causes of mortality or poor health include factors such as obesity, smoking, poor diet and low physical activity. Sugar sweetened beverage consumption ranked low in comparison.”

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