News: Study suggests sugary drinks kill 180,000 people each year

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News: Study suggests sugary drinks kill 180,000 people each year

Whether it’s for diabetes, depression, or obesity – recent studies have linked soda to several negative health effects.

The latest research is even more alarming: It suggests sugary drinks are to blame for 180,000 deaths each year worldwide.

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health found that drinking sugary beverages increases incidence of death from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, reports

"It is a [surprisingly] large number of deaths—tens of thousands of deaths—that are being caused by consuming sugary beverages," researcher Dr, Gitanjali Singh told Medscape Medical News.

She also said it’s time for policy makers and physicians to really encourage people to cut down their sugary beverage intake.

The American Beverage Association doesn’t agree that soda is to blame. They believe the Harvard researchers are incorrect.

“The researchers make a huge leap when they take beverage intake calculations from around the globe and allege that those beverages are the cause of deaths which the authors themselves acknowledge are due to chronic disease,” they said in a statement.

However, many people don’t trust beverage corporations –and have even compared their actions to that of tobacco companies.

“There are aspects of the food industry that are reminiscent of tobacco
— the sowing of doubt where there’s no reasonable doubt, funding of front groups, use of so-called experts, claims that new products which are safer for consumers are available, and the claim that they are not marketing to children,” Dr. Thomas Frieden told the New York Times.

With a Harvard study suggesting sugary drinks are killing that many people each year, it’s hard not to see the comparison.

What do you think? Should soda companies shoulder some of the blame for body mass index-related chronic disease and death around the world? Does this study make you less likely to drink soda?

-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

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