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According to a new study published in the medical journal Circulation, sugary drinks are responsible for the death of 184,000 people worldwide.

The study was carried out by an international group of researchers called the Global Burden of Diseases Nutrition and Chronic Diseases Expert Group (NutriCoDE) was published in the medical a journal Circulation.

The researchers investigated and analysed sugary drink consumption in countries around the world. Sugar-sweetened beverages were defined as:

  • sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks (sodas)
  • fruit drinks
  • sports or energy drinks
  • sweetened iced tea
  • homemade sugar-sweetened drinks

The study’s conclusion estimated that internationally, 184,000 deaths per year were attributable to sugary drink consumption. This included:

  • 133,000 from diabetes
  • 45,000 from cardiovascular disease
  • 6,450 from cancers

The researchers also concluded that sugary drinks are a changeable part of the diet, and cutting them out could reduce preventable deaths.

Additionally, another ongoing study by researchers at the University of Cambridge, called the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Norfolk study is looking into the link between developing type-2 diabetes and the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) and fruit juice. The study also wanted to look at the impact it would have if the subjects swapped these beverages for water or non-sweetened beverages.

The study did find an increased risk of type-2 diabetes in people who consumed sugar-sweetened drinks and it also estimate that by swapping the drinks for water or unsweetened drinks such as tea or coffee, the risk level could be decreased by up to 25%.

Given the ubiquity of sweetened-drink advertising it is difficult to resist, however as the studies above suggest it is not a particularly healthy activity, and reducing the levels of consumption could be a massive factor in working towards a much more healthy lifestyle. Also, given the fact that water from the tap in the UK is safe-to-drink, inexpensive, and lacking in sugar and calories it makes sense to make the switch!