New study suggests Bloomberg may be on to something with sugary drinks ban

Posted at 10:23 AM, Mar 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-20 18:36:34-04

A new study is giving some more juice to Mayor Bloomberg’s big soda ban that was shot down last week.

Researchers estimate that one in every 100 deaths of obese people can be linked to sugary drinks, according to a study.

The study, unveiled at an American Heart Association conference, also revealed that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide each year.

Among the world’s 35 largest countries, Mexico had the highest death rates from sugary drinks. The United States ranked third.

The American Beverage Association contests the findings, saying nothing in the AHA meeting news release suggests soda causes death.

“This abstract is more about sensationalism than science.  It does not show that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages causes chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer – the real causes of death among the studied subjects. The researchers make a huge leap when they take beverage intake calculations from around the globe and allege that those beverages are the cause of deaths which the authors themselves acknowledge are due to chronic disease.”

A Heart Association spokewoman said the lesson here is to avoid such drinks.

“The evidence base that sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with excess weight gain is well established; what these investigators have done is to take it a step further by saying the excess weight gain that is attributable to sugary drinks actually increases the risk of death from diabetes, CVD, and cancer,”  said Dr. Rachel K Johnson.