As the soda wars rage across the country, a new study finds that 1% of deaths of obese adults around the world can be blamed on sugary drinks, USA Today reports. That tallied up to 180,000 obesity-related deaths linked to an over-consumption of sweetened beverages in 2010; the figure includes 25,000 dead Americans. The cause of death wasn't too much Pepsi: Rather, the drinks pack on the excess pounds, which up the risk of death from other diseases. Of the 180,000, more than 70% succumbed to diabetes, with 44,000 dying of cardiovascular disease and 6,000 of cancer, say researchers. Of the countries studied, Mexico was No. 1 in terms of number of deaths, with the US in third.
Researchers say the data "suggests that limiting sugary-beverage intake is an important step in reducing diabetes deaths." But the American Beverage Association says the report is "more about sensationalism than science. 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." The American Heart Association recommends no more than 450 calories per week come from sugar-sweetened drinks.