Slurping sugary drinks may lead to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year, according to new research, the first detailed global report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Scientists from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University conducted the research, which was published by the journal Circulation and noted on sciencedaily.com.
“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,” Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., senior author of the study and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy said in a university release.
The research comes to light hot on the heels of the release of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s parody video of the classic “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” video, featuring insulin injections and gaps left by sugar-rotted teeth in lieu of hilltops and hippies.
The researchers gleaned their data from 62 dietary surveys including 611,971 people conducted between 1980 and 2010 across 51 countries. Their definition of sugar-sweetened beverages included sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, and homemade sugary drinks containing at least 50 kcal per 8-ounce service. For the year 2010, the death-by-sweetened-beverage breakdown included: 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 deaths from cancer. The impact varied from country to country, from 1 percent of Japanese people over 65 years dying from diseases linked to sugar drinks to 30 percent of Mexican people under the age 45.
Soda companies spend more than $1 billion advertising their beverages every year.