0844 GMT April 03, 2020
"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," said Dariush Mozaffarian, senior author of the study and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University in Boston, sciencenewsline.com said.
In the first detailed global report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages, researchers estimated deaths and disabilities from diabetes, heart disease, and cancers in 2010. In this analysis, sugar-sweetened beverages contained at least 50 kilocalories per 240 milliliter serving.
Estimates of consumption were made from 62 dietary surveys including 611,971 individuals conducted between 1980 and 2010 across 51 countries, along with data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries and other information.
The impact of sugar-sweetened beverages varied greatly between populations. At the extremes, the estimated percentage of deaths was less than 1 percent in Japanese over 65 years old, but 30 percent in Mexican adults younger than 45.
In Caribbean and Latin American nations such as Mexico, homemade sugary drinks are popular and consumed in addition to commercially prepared sugar-sweetened beverages. "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, PhD, lead author of the study and a research assistant professor at the Friedman School.
Overall, in younger adults, the percentage of chronic disease attributed to sugar-sweetened beverages was higher than the percentage in older adults.