184,000 adult deaths worldwide each year as a result of drinking sugary drinks. That’s the bold and quite frankly shocking claim from a new study.
If you are reading this article you may already be fairly savvy about the dangers of consuming too much sugar. Excessive sugar consumption has been linked with a greater risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
For their study, lead author Professor Gitanjali Singh, research assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy of Tufts University in Boston, MA, and colleagues set out to estimate the annual rates of global deaths and disabilities caused by sugary drink consumption.
Their findings are published in Circulation – a journal of the AHA.
The team analysed sugary drink consumption data from 62 surveys involving 611,971 people over 51 countries from a period 1980-2010. Specifically, they focused on how sugary drink consumption affects the number of deaths from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Prof. Singh and colleagues estimated that in 2010, sugary drink consumption was responsible for around 184,450 deaths worldwide, with 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 deaths from cancer.
“Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages. It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet.
There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is saving tens of thousands of deaths each year.”
says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, also of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy.
And these are just deaths; the numbers of people chronically ill and suffering as a result of consuming sugary drinks will run into hundreds of thousands per year costing health services, insurance companies and employing companies billions of dollars.
Overall, in younger adults, the percent of chronic disease attributed to sugar-sweetened beverages was higher than the percent in older adults. “The health impact of sugar-sweetened beverage intake on the young is important because younger adults form a large sector of the workforce in many countries, so the economic impact of sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths and disability in this age group can be significant. It also raises concerns about the future. If these young people continue to consume high levels as they age, the effects of high consumption will be compounded by the effects of aging, leading to even higher death and disability rates from heart disease and diabetes than we are seeing now.” Singh said.
If you want to live longer and stay healthy your chances are better if you substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from your diet.
In addition I recommend keeping your total sugar/fructose intake below 25 grams a day. Reduce to 15 grams a day if you have any health problems related to insulin and leptin resistance, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, until your insulin/leptin sensitivity has been restored.
But don’t do ‘Diet’ as the alternative
But don’t go thinking the “Diet” alternative is healthier for you; it isn’t! Artificial sweeteners have their own dangers which I’ll write about in a future article.
Water for health
My advice is just to drink good old H2O. It’s fresh, it’s refreshing and your body will thank you for it.
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