Tufts University researchers have purportedly implicated sugarsweetened beverages (SSBs) in 184,000 deaths worldwide each year after estimating the role of SSB consumption in adiposity-related cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancers and diabetes. Gitanjali Singh, et al., “Estimated Global, Regional, and National Disease Burdens Related to Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in 2010,” Circulation, July 2015. Relying on data from 611,971 individuals surveyed between 1980 and 2010, “along with data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries and other information,” the study estimates that SSB consumption allegedly contributed to 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 deaths from CVD, and 6,450 deaths from cancer. It also notes that among the most populous countries, Mexico had the largest absolute and proportional deaths from SSBs, with proportional mortality reaching 30 percent in Mexican adults younger than age 45.
“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 beveragerelated deaths and disability in this age group can be significant,” said one of the study’s authors in a June 29, 2015, press release. “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.”