Sugary drinks contribute to the deaths of a staggering 184,000 people worldwide every year, a new report has claimed.
A comprehensive review of about 60 dietary surveys from the past 30 years across 51 countries found that fizzy soft drinks, fruit drinks – excluding 100% fruit juice beverages – energy drinks and sweetened iced teas are leading to 133,000 deaths per year from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 from cancer, says the report published in medical journal Circulation.
The report claims that Mexico is the worst affected by the pandemic with 404.5 deaths per one million citizens – around 24,000 people. About 30% of adult deaths under the age of 45 in the Latin American country can be attributed to sugary drinks.
"Among the 20 countries with the highest estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths, at least eight were in Latin America and the Caribbean, reflecting the high intakes in that region of the world," said Gitanjali Singh, an assistant professor at Tufts University, Boston, and lead author of the study.
The USA is fourth on the list with 124.9 deaths per one million whereas the UK is way down the document in 28th place out of 39 countries surveyed with 30.5 deaths per one million.
Dariush Mozaffarian, from Tufts University and a senior author of the study, said: "It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet.
"Some population dietary changes, such as increasing fruits and vegetables, can be challenging due to agriculture, costs, storage, and other complexities. This is not complicated.
"There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is preventing tens of thousands of deaths each year."
Singh added: "If these young people continue to consume high levels as they age, [this] will be compounded by the effects of ageing, leading to even higher death and disability rates from heart disease and diabetes than we are seeing now."