Sugar-sweetened Beverages Cause 184,000 Deaths Every Year: Study

Published Date : Jun 29, 2015

Sugary drinks kill an approximate of 184,000 people across the globe each year, states a new study. 

The assessment was published in the journal Circulation and was put together using disability and death statistics factoring in rates of heart disease, diabetes, and cancers right from 2010. The analysis also included dietary information and consumption from any sugary beverages such as fruit drinks, sodas, sweetened iced teas, sports and energy drinks, or homemade sugar sweetened drinks such as frescas. 

The scientists said that the results of the study revealed that sugar sweetened drinks cause thousands of deaths worldwide from the cumulative health effect.

Dean of Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy’s Tufts University and lead author Dariush Mozaffarian said that the number of deaths from sugar sweetened drinks in 2010 was dominated by diabetes with 133,000. The researchers also said that even with diabetes being the predominant killer, 45,000 people died from cardiovascular diseases linked with sugary drinks and another 6,450 people died from cancer associated with the sweetened beverages. 

Different cultures impact these figures in a varied manner. Less than 1 per cent of the deaths in Japanese adults above the age of 65 years was owing to sugar sweetened drinks. However, in Mexico, an astounding 30 per cent of the adults below the age of 45 died directly or indirectly due to sugary beverages, the authors found. 

Poorer the region, more skewed is the death toll. Researchers found that approximately 76 per cent of the total number of deaths each year occurred in countries with middle or low income. 

According to the authors, younger people are also being impacted by sugar sweetened drinks in a large way. 

Lead author of the study Gitanjali Singh, who is also a research assistant professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy’s Tufts University, said that these results raise concerns regarding the future. If younger people continue to consumer higher levels of sugary drinks as they grow older, the effects will impact those of aging, resulting in high disability and death rates from diabetes and heart disease.