It's "a global priority" to reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened drinks from our diets, say researchers from Tufts University in Boston who calculated the number of deaths from the drinks.
The drinks are responsible for around 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 deaths from heart disease and 6,450 deaths from cancer every year around the world, the researchers estimate.
The impact of the drinks varied enormously around the world, however. In Japan, the drinks were responsible for just 1 per cent of deaths, but in Mexico that figure leapt to 30 per cent of adults younger than 45 years. In all, the drinks were responsible for 405 deaths per million adults in Mexico, or 24,000 deaths a year, compared to 125 deaths per million adults in the US, which equated to 25,000 deaths overall. Around 76 per cent of global deaths happened in low- or middle-income countries.
Drinks that were included in the analysis were sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit juices, sports and energy drinks, sweetened iced teas and home-made sugary drinks.
(Source: Circulation, 2015; doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010636)