133,000 people a year are dying from diabetes, then around 45,000 people die from heart disease and another 6,450 from cancer, according to the newest study , published in the journal Circulation.
Researchers estimating the deaths from diabetes, heart disease, and cancers in 2010 defined SSBs as any sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened iced teas, energy drinks, or homemade sugary drinks. Pure fruit juice was excluded, and all drinks had at least 50 kcal per eight US ounces serving or just over two thirds of a standard pop can.
Mexico is leading – with 404.5 deaths per million adults annualy. Most of the deaths are between 20 to 44 years of age in low and middle income countries, say researchers. Britain has 1,316 deaths a year, with an estimated mortality rate of 30.5 per million adults.
The findings “indicate the need for population based efforts to reduce SSB consumption throughout the world through effective health policies and targeted interventions directed at stemming obesity-related disease,” states the paper. The study was conducted by an international team of researchers from Harvard, Tufts and Washington universities in the US, and Imperial College London in the UK
Three quarters of all deaths are linked to developing countries.
And younger adults were more at risk of chronic illnesses than older people.
“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,” commented Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, senior author of the study and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University in Boston.
“There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is saving tens of thousands of deaths each year,” he added.
He added: “The researchers provide no evidence when they illogically and wrongly take beverage intake calculations from around the globe and allege that those beverages are the cause of deaths which the authors themselves acknowledge are due to chronic disease.”