Could the mayor of New York, Bloomberg, be on the right track when he is encouraging reduction of sugary drink intake? Sugary drinks are being related to hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world. A researcher, Gitanjali Singh, at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, as well as colleagues spent five years putting this together. They used data from the national health surveys around the world. There have been 180,000 deaths a year worldwide. There have been approximately 25,000 deaths yearly in the US. There are a reported 133,000 deaths caused from diabetes, over 40,000 deaths caused from cardiovascular diseases, and about 6,000 deaths caused from cancer related to sugary drinks. Of the most populated countries studied, Mexico experienced the highest mortality due to sugary beverages, at about 318 per one million adults dying per year. Japan had the lowest at 10 yearly deaths per million adults. The most diabetes deaths related to sugary beverages was in Latin America and Caribbean at a figure of 38,000. This showed also that 78% of the deaths occured in countries that had a high concentration of low and middle income earners.
Sugary drinks may have more serious health effects than just the size of the waistline.
The USDA has warned that the largest source of added sugar in the American diet is in sugar-sweetened drinks such as sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
36 percent of the calories we get from added sugars. The USDA recommends that the average adult consume no more than 32 grams of sugar (8 teaspoons) per day. To put this in perspective one 20 oz soda can have 16 teaspoons of sugar. They have no nutritional value and result in many health risks.
Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of chronic diseases that include heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The study reflects an estimate just how crucial this problem has become; the researchers said. Experts are cautioning that the researchers found only an association and cannot prove that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages alone caused these deaths. Sugar-sweetened beverages are often just a part of a unhealthy diet and life style that contributed to over-all poor health.
“A large number of deaths each year are caused by drinking sugary beverages. Our findings should push policy makers world-wide to make effective policies to reduce consumption of sugary beverages, such as taxation, mass-media campaigns, and reducing the availability of these drinks,” says Dr. Singh, “Individuals should drink fewer sugary beverages and encourage their family and friends to do the same.”