A new study published in the Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy at Tufts University found that sugary drinks may be harmful to more than just your teeth. According to data collected from over 600,000 individuals across 51 countries, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages (defined as sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweet teas, among others sugar-laden drinks, that contained at least 50 kcal per 8oz serving) resulted in an average of 184,000 deaths per year over a 30-year period.
In 2010 alone, researchers estimate that sugar-sweetened beverages may have been responsible for approximately:
- 133,000 diabetes-related
- 45,000 cardiovascular disease-related deaths
- 6,450 cancer-related deaths
The study also found that different population and ethnic groups were affected in drastically different ways—Japanese senior citizens (over the age of 65), for example, were affected almost not at all, while 30% of sugary-beverage drinking Mexican adults were negatively impacted or killed by sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. According to survey results, income levels were the most common unifying factor among at-risk populations: about 76% of sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths or illnesses occurred in low- or middle-income countries or populations.
While the United States saw the second-largest total death rate of the 51 countries surveyed, groundbreaking strides are being taken to include health warnings on soda advertisements and, in some cities, limit the consumption of sugary drinks through taxation. For most healthcare professionals believe that education, not regulation, may be the single greatest weapon in the fight against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer-related deaths caused by sugar-added beverages.
For dental and other healthcare related information, including how to eat healthier and eliminate excessive sugar from you and your family’s diet, peruse the Infinite Dental Wellness Blog. More questions or concerns? Don’t hesitate to call our office anytime! We look forward to hearing from you!