A new study draws a direct connection between sugary beverages, like soda and energy drinks, and adult deaths.
Specifically, the study suggests that as many as 184,000 adult deaths can be linked to the consumption of sugar-laden drinks.
The study, which was carried out by Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, involved an examination of data related to sugar usage across 187 countries. The study focused on a number of different types of beverages, from soda to energy drinks, fruit juice, and sports drinks.
The finding: consumption of sugary beverages can be tied to 133,000 deaths due to diabetes; 45,000 deaths due to cardiovascular disease; and 6,000 deaths from various cancers.
Unsurprisingly, the American Beverage Association is questioning the findings, arguing that the study “does not show that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages causes chronic diseases.”
Mozaffarian admits his study “isn’t perfect” but suggests the beverage industry, including the ABA, may be “putting their heads in the sand” if they’re trying to deny “that soda causes obesity”.
Mozaffarian went on to note that drinking sugary beverages can be linked to “back pain, gallstones [and] joint disease.”
Looking forward, Mozaffarian suggests that there needs to be more research investigating how sugary beverages affect our health. “This is a single dietary factor with no intrinsic health value causing tens of thousands of deaths per year,” he said.
“It’s time to remove sugary beverages from the food supply,” Mozaffarian added.
The report based on Mozaffarian’s study can now be accessed via the journal Circulation.