Study says sugary drinks linked to 180,000 deaths worldwide

Soda, pop, cola, Coke, soft drinks — whatever you call them

Soda, pop, cola, Coke, soft drinks — whatever you call them, they’re not healthy. These sugar-laden beverages have been causing quite an uproar recently, particularly in New York City, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to ban the sale of sugary drinks at certain venues in an attempt to curb obesity rates.

Well, the soda ban got canned (for now), but recent research shines new light on soda and the obesity epidemic.

Researchers are now saying that one out of every 100 obesity-related deaths can be linked to drinking sugary beverages.

The added sugar in these drinks can lead to excessive weight gain, and added pounds can increase your risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers — conditions often referred to as obesity-related diseases.

“We know that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to obesity, and that a large number of deaths are caused by obesity-related diseases. But until now, nobody had really put these pieces together,” the lead author of the study said.

The most deaths from diabetes, heart disease and cancer were in Mexico, where consumption of sugary drinks is high. The U.S. was third on the list.

But how did the study single out sweet drinks as the link to weight gain and death?

Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, R.D., chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee, says that “investigators examined changes in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and then its association with change in body fatness or BMI (body mass index), and subsequent deaths from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.”


So now what? Soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks are the main source of added sugars in the American diet, according to the American Heart Association.

The best thing to do to maintain a healthy weight and decrease your risk of heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses is to eat a healthy diet and limit added sugar to no more than 100 calories a day for women and 150 for men. And cut out the soda, pop, cola, Coke and soft drinks … whatever you call them!

Determine your risk for heart disease, take our Online Heart Disease Risk Assessment.
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