A new study says there is a link between sugar-sweetened beverages and 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide.
Researchers linked 132,000 deaths from diabetes, 44,000 from cardiovascular disease and 6,000 from cancer, reported USA Today.
The study used data from the World Health Organization's 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study. The majority of deaths were in low to middle income countries. Mexico came in first with the largest number of sugar-related deaths. The U.S. came in third (25,000 adult American deaths).
However, the American Beverage Association disagreed with the results.
"This abstract, which is not peer-reviewed nor published in a way where its methodology can be fully evaluated, is more about sensationalism than science,” the organization said in a statement.
It adds, “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."
Based on a 2,000-calories-a-week diet, the American Heart Association suggests that adults not consume more than 450 calories from sugary beverages.