Study links sugary drinks to thousands of deaths

Published On: Mar 24 2013 04:06:48 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 25 2013 06:52:37 AM CDT
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Are sugary drinks responsible for thousands of deaths around the world? One study says yes. 

Researchers at Harvard's School of Public Health say that 180,000 deaths each year can be attributed to soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. Most of the deaths were either from diabetes or heart disease.

"My first reaction to the study is that it's a little hard to jump to such a strong conclusion," said Marissa Pruitt, a dietitan at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital.

Pruitt says over consumption of sugary drinks is certainly dangerous but linking it to so many deaths may be a stretch.

"I think it's hard to draw conclusions like that based on one study or one aspect of our lifestyle," she added.

Pruitt says having only one sugar sweetened drink a day will improve your long-term health significantly.