Sugar-sweetened beverages may be to blame for about 180,000 deaths worldwide each year, according to a report by the American Heart Association.
Sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks sweetened with sugar contribute to excess body fat, which is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. Based on data from the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study, researchers tied the consumption of sugary drinks to 133,000 diabetes-related deaths, 44,000 deaths from cardiovascular diseases and 6,000 deaths from cancer.
Nearly 80% of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, with the Latin American/Caribbean region experiencing 38,000 diabetes-related deaths associated with sugary beverages, and 11,000 cardiovascular deaths in east and central Eurasia. Mexico, which has one of the highest per-capita consumptions of sugar-sweetened drinks, also had the highest related death rate (318 deaths per million adults), while Japan was at the other end of the spectrum with a low per-capita consumption and low death rate (10 deaths per million adults).