Harvard study links sugary beverages with deaths
7 Healthcast: Harvard study links sugary beverages with deaths
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WHDH) -- Before you pop the top on that can of soda - researchers from Harvard University have information they want you to hear.
Their new study has linked sugar-sweetened beverages with hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. Out of those hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide - 25,000 of those deaths are linked to soda drinkers in the United States alone.
Chilling news for soda lovers - new research from the Harvard school of Public Health links over-consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks with 180,000 deaths worldwide each year.
"There is pretty strong evidence that consumption of excessive calories, particularly from sugar-sweetened beverages does correlate obesity and therefore insulin resistance, which is the path of physiology of diabetes," said Dr. Sahil Parikh of Uh Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
And obesity and diabetes are risk factors for heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.
The Harvard researchers calculated the consumption of sugary drinks worldwide, and compared that with death rate data to get their results.
"We have to take pause and understand that this is a suggested correlation. It does not imply that these drinks do cause directly morbidity and mortality,” said Dr. Parikh.
The American Beverage Association responded to the study in a statement -- calling it "more about sensationalism than science."
The sticking point in this research is the added sugar in drinks -- and does not include low-cal and no-cal beverages sweetened in other ways.
"Excessive calorie intake correlates with obesity and diabetes and consequently if you can avoid excessive calories, that may be the best way to go,” said Dr. Parikh.
Still - we are a carbonated nation. Studies have shown nearly half of all Americans gulp down sugar-sweetened drinks every day.
The study suggested Latin American had the highest number of diabetes-related deaths linked to sugary beverages.