The Drink Linked To 25,000 U.S. Deaths A Year

    A spoonful of sugar being added to a cupMore than 180,000 deaths worldwide in 2010 were linked to a high intake of sugary drinks, a new study estimates, including 25,000 deaths in the United States.

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    Most deaths occurred in middle- to low-income countries, the Harvard researchers noted. The findings are surprising because this problem is often though of this as a problem only in high-income countries. These latest findings do not prove that sugary drinks kill people. They only show a correlation between high consumption and deaths from heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

    Recently, a judge struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial limit on large sweetened sodas and other sugary beverages, one day before the rule was to go into effect. Bloomberg said he would appeal the decision and defended his plan, which would have limited the size of sugary drinks sold at restaurants, food carts and theaters to 16 ounces.

    But that’s not the only type of measure officials can take. Others could include taxing sugar-added drinks, or limiting advertising of the beverages to children. But “anti-soda” moves are a tough sell — not only because the beverage industry and many consumers resist. It’s also hard to pin ill health effects on one component of people’s diets, even if it’s a nutritionally dubious one.

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