Latest studies from the Harvard School of Public Health reveal how sugar-laden drinks such as sodas and sports drinks can be linked to approximately 180,000 deaths around the world each year. The sweeteners and chemicals found in many sugary beverages facilitate complications such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, RedOrbit reports in the article, "Sugary Drinks Linked To 180,000 Annual Deaths."
Drinking non-diet sodas, sports drinks, fruit drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages could be associated with as many as 180,000 deaths worldwide each year, according to a new study led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The study, presented during the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions (EPI NPAM 2013), used data collected as part of the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study to look at the global health impacts of sugar-sweetened beverages. Why are so many deaths linked to sugary drinks also linked to low and middle-income countries? See, "Study: 1 in 100 US Deaths Caused by Too Many Sugary Drinks."
The report noted that data revealed sodas and other sugary drinks could be linked to 133,000 diabetes deaths; 44,000 cardiovascular disease-related deaths and 6,000 cancer-related deaths in the year 2010. Of those deaths, 78 percent came in low-to-middle-income countries, not high-income nations.
Also, according to the March 20, 2013 news article, "Study: Sugary Drinks Involved In Almost 200000 Deaths Per Year Internationally," news mentioned that the number was closer to 180,000, according to other news reports today. The study involved examining data collected during the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 - TheLancet.com, which included information regarding the health implications of consuming sugary drinks throughout the world.
In all, 133,000 deaths from complications with diabetes, 44,000 fatalities caused by cardiovascular disease and 6,000 cancer-related deaths were said to be attributed to drinking excessively sweetened beverages that year. For further details on the study, check out the article at the RedOrbit - Science, Space, Technology, Health News and Information website.
Monster Beverage Corporation wants to call its product a beverage and not a dietary supplement
Monster Beverage Corp. will include caffeine content on its energy drink labels because it no longer wants to be considered a dietary supplement, and instead will adhere to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for conventional foods, according to the February 16, 2013 news article by Sydney Lupkin, "Monster Energy Drinks to Get Caffeine Content Labels - ABC News."The switch comes after a wrongful death lawsuit filed last fall against Monster Energy, which plagued the company – and the rest of the energy drink industry.
That lawsuit may have prompted the release of FDA reports that attributed five possible deaths to Monster Energy and another 13 possible deaths to 5-Hour Energy, a 2-ounce energy shot. You can check out a statement from Monster Beverage Corporation based in Corona, California sent to ABC News.com that reports, "The Company saw no reason to continue being subjected to erroneous and misguided criticism that its Monster Energy drinks are being marketed as dietary substances to avoid FDA regulation."
Check out the March 4, 2013 news release, "Monster Beverage Corp. Details Medical Evidence Obtained in the Fournier Lawsuit." You can view that PDF article press release to read about what the company stated in response to accusations of caffeine toxicity in a person who died, when no blood test for caffeine toxicity was done.
It's an important news release since so many teenagers drinking caffeinated sodas and other energy drinks don't know their genetic predisposition of having a heart problem that's not yet discovered that may respond to caffeine or other stimulants in foods that might cause heart rhythm irregularities as could excitement or exertion. In the lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corporation, the Medical Examiner concluded that the teenager died from cardiac fibrosis, a thickening or scarring of the heart, and not from the specific caffeine drinks.
Teens with heart thickening or scarring shouldn't be drinking lots of caffeine
That's why it's important for teenagers to know the condition of their hearts that's genetic before they drink or engage in sports. You never know what's going to set off someone's genetic issues whether what happens before a medical event or sudden illness is or isn't precipitated by any given food, beverages, event, excitement, or sports participation.
You never know how sensitive a person's heart is to caffeine until something happens requiring hospitalization So be aware of possible genetic issues. Then, on the other hand, with all those deaths reported in the news mentioning caffeinated energy drinks, you'd have to look at the court cases to see what's happening on either side of the issue. The news release details what happened when the teenager drank several cans of the energy drink.
Monster Energy Drinks isn't the only energy drink firm to come under government scrutiny. The federal government and the New York Attorney General's office announced in February 2013 that they also are investigating the popular energy drink 5-Hour Energy after the Food and Drug Administration received claims that 5-Hour Energy has over the past four years led to 13 deaths and 33 hospitalizations, according to a Getty News photo blurb. Also see the March 13, 2013 article, "5-Hour Energy sued again | Breaking news content from New Hope."
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) is the largest ever systematic effort
Researchers were looking to explore and describe the global distribution and causes of a wide array of major diseases, injuries, and health risk factors. The results show that infectious diseases, maternal and child illness, and malnutrition now cause fewer deaths and less illness than they did twenty years ago. Parents and their doctors wonder why fewer children are dying every year, but more young and middle-aged adults are dying and suffering from disease and injury, as non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
Is the issue genetic, since clogged arteries have been found in prehistoric and ancient preserved mummies? Why are these same diseases of the arteries and organs now the dominant causes of death and disability worldwide? Is it the small particles of pollution in the air, the food and beverages, or both?
Burden of disease study
The study reveled that since 1970, men and women worldwide have gained slightly more than ten years of life expectancy overall, but they spend more years living with injury and illness. The study, known as GBD 2010 contains seven articles. Each report has a wealth of data on different aspects of the study (including data for different countries and world regions, men and women, and different age groups).
There's a section on accompanying comments that include reactions to the study's publication from WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. The study, according to its website, is described by Lancet Editor-in-Chief Dr Richard Horton as "a critical contribution to our understanding of present and future health priorities for countries and the global community."
Harvard researchers looked at sugary drinks around the world
Harvard researchers were also reportedly able to divide the globe into nine regions, allowing them to study how sugary drinks affect different parts of the world. In the process, they discovered that 78 percent of the deaths were reported from lower or middle income nations. Researchers presented the study at the latest Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions held by the American Heart Association, according to the Red Orbit site.
For further information, check out the site, "EPI|NPAM 2013 Scientific Sessions - My American Heart - American Heart Association." Interestingly, few businesses are touting drinking filtered water from your own faucet, since there's no money to be made on a large scale selling water stored in plastic bottles or water delivery services, with the exception of the firms that sell water filtration devices. But if you need a sweet drink, you might try berries without adding sweeteners to them along with clean, filtered water.
What this week's conference covered focused on discussing findings from current laboratory, animal, and clinical studies and publications that describe the multifactorial causes of obesity, and suggest opportunities to reduce global obesity rates. Researchers also discussed the role of economics in obesity development and prevention and its implications for population-based research and interventions.
The conference emphasized opportunities to address modifiable behavioral, and biological risk factors for CVD to meet the components of “ideal cardiovascular health.”
Researchers described the epidemiology of CVD risk factors in children and adolescents and identify opportunities to identify and address risk factors early. And recent discoveries were reported in the fields of genomics and public health genetics and how they relate to CVD prevention and treatment.
You could substitute diet drinks for a smoothie made of blueberries, strawberries, and water or unsweetened almond milk
A new Harvard University study found that women who ate three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries every week for almost 20 years dramatically reduced their risks for having a heart attack. "Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into what women eat every week," study author Eric Rimm, an associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass., said in a written statement. "This simple dietary change could have a significant impact on prevention efforts." Check out the video on the health benefits of these two berries, Play Video.
Dietary flavonoids are also found in grapes and wine, blackberries, eggplant, and other fruits and vegetables, according to AHA. A particular type of flavonoids called "anthocyanins," may improve blood flow, counter the buildup of plaque and provide other heart health benefits, the study's authors report.
Blueberries and strawberries healthy whole or in a drink made of fresh fruit
Researchers surveyed 93,600 female nurses between 25 and 42 who were part of a long-running study in which nurses filled out questionnaires about their diets every four years for 18 years.
- Berries may contain potent weapon vs. Parkinson's
- Fruits, veggies may outmatch bad genes for heart disease
- National Wear Red Day spotlights heart disease in women
Out of the large study pool, only 405 heart attacks occurred. Women who ate the most blueberries and strawberries were found to be 32 percent less likely to have a heart attack, compared to women who ate berries once a month or less. That was found true even for women who ate diets rich in fruits and vegetables, but not those two berries.
The study was observational, meaning it did not show a direct cause-and-effect relationship between berries and heart attack protection; the link was simply observed by researchers after ruling out other factors that may contribute to heart attacks. Also see the site, Women and heart attacks: Signs not always there.
Heart attacks are a major concern among women, with recent research finding women are more likely to die from heart attacks than men. The American Heart Association (AHA) says women may be more likely to experience other heart attack symptoms besides chest pain that may be harder to pick up, such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., the culprit behind 1 in every 4 female deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blueberries and strawberries, which are rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, may help reduce risk, according to the new study, published Jan. 14 in the AHA's journal, Circulation.