Sugary Drinks Linked to 180,000 Deaths

Sugary Drinks Linked to 180,000 Deaths

Sugary Drinks Linked to 180,000 Deaths

According to recent research presented by the American Heart Association, sugar-sweetened beverages are related to more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide every year.

“This means about one in every 100 deaths from obesity-related diseases is caused by drinking sugary beverages,” says study author Gitanjali Singh, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Harvard researchers looked into how often people around the world consumed sugar-sweetened beverages and how that affected their risk of death. They examined 114 national dietary surveys in addition to evidence from studies published in medical journals that analyzed sugary drinks and dietary habits.

The Harvard scientists spent years gathering and dissecting data. They considered many factors that can affect weight such as TV watching, physical activity levels, smoking, and dietary intake.

With the researchers controlling these factors, they were able to determine what percentage of deaths from diabetes, heart disease and cancer were associated with sugary drink ingestion.

Scientists discovered that more people died from diabetes, heart disease and cancer in parts of the world where consumption of sugary drinks is elevated.

In the U.S., sugar-laden beverages were linked to the deaths of 25,000 people from diabetes and other obesity-related disease. Death rates were highest in young adults under age 45, with 1 in 10 obesity-related deaths associated with sugary drinks.

However, the American Beverage Association dismissed the research as “more about sensationalism than science.”

The American Beverage Association released this statement in response to the study:
“This abstract, which is neither peer-reviewed nor published, is more about sensationalism than science. In no way does it show that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages causes chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer – the real causes of death among the studied subjects.

The study authors and other experts disagree.

“We know having an elevated BMI is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers,” says Johnson. “The body does not seem to detect fullness as well when you drink sugary drinks. That is one explanation for why sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with obesity.”

Recently the American Heart Association came out with a scientific statement about sugar intake and heart health because it says there is new evidence about the relationship between the two. The statement says some research has found a link between sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease, while other research has not found a direct link.

Soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the main source of added sugars in the American diet, according to the statement. One 12-ounce regular soda contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar and has about 140 calories.

There has been plenty of research showing that diets high in sugar are associated with several health ailments including diabetes and abnormal lipid levels. If even “one in every 100 deaths from obesity-related diseases is caused by drinking sugary beverages” is not true this doesn’t mean people should consume large amount of added sugar on a daily basis. At Heal n Cure, we teach our patients to balanced their diet in a way that they are eating a high amount of quality foods and a minimum amount of empty calorie foods such as a sugar sweetened beverages.

What do you think?

Do you think the general public consumes too much sugar? Do you agree or disagree with politicians that support higher taxes on sugar sweetened beverages? Please share your comments below.