Sugary drinks kill around 2 lakh people a year globally

Washington, June 30 (IANS) Consumption of sugary drinks may lead to diabetes, heart disease, and cancers and an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year worldwide, shows a study by a team of researchers led by an Indian American.

In the first detailed global report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages, researchers estimated deaths and disabilities caused by diabetes, heart disease, and cancers in 2010.

“Among the 20 countries with the highest estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths, at least eight were in Latin America and the Caribbean, reflecting the high intakes in that region of the world,” said lead author Gitanjali Singh, an Indian-American assistant professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Tufts University.

Of the 20 most populous countries, Mexico had the highest death rate attributable to sugar-sweetened beverages with an estimated 405 deaths per million adults (24,000 total deaths) and the US ranked second with an estimated 125 deaths per million adults (25,000 total deaths).

In the study, sugar sweetened beverages were defined as any sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, or homemade sugary drinks such as frescas, that contained at least 50 kcal per 8oz serving.

The estimates of consumption were made from 62 dietary surveys including 611,971 individuals conducted between 1980 and 2010 across 51 countries.

In 2010, the researchers estimate that sugar-sweetened beverages consumption may have been responsible for approximately 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease, and 6,450 deaths from cancer.

The impact of sugar-sweetened beverages varied greatly between populations.

The estimated percentage of deaths was less than one percent in Japanese over 65 years old, but 30 percent in Mexican adults younger than 45.

About 76 percent of the estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths occurred in low- or middle-income countries.

“The health impact of sugar-sweetened beverage intake on the young is important because younger adults form a large sector of the workforce in many countries, so the economic impact of sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths and disability in this age group can be significant,” Singh said.

The study was outlined in the journal Circulation.

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