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Study: Soda, sugary drinks a growing link to death

According to a report by ABC News, sugary drinks have been linked to 180,000 deaths a year worldwide. (AP Photo)

A nice, cold soda might taste good in the moment, but the sugary beverage could lead to a not so sweet death.

According to ABC News, sugary drinks have been linked to 180,000 deaths a year worldwide.

A Harvard study made the statistical discovery and also revealed that of those 180,000 deaths, 133,000 were related to diabetes, 44,000 to cardiovascular disease and 6,000 to cancer in 2010.

The study highlights a recent issue policymakers have tried to bring to the forefront with legislation.

While some government officials like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- proposed a bill that would have banned super-sized drinks at fast food restaurants -- have tried to combat the consumption of unhealthy food and beverage options, others such as Mississippi Governor Phil Bryan feel dietary intake is part of a citizen's freedom of choice.

"It is simply not the role of government to micro-regulate citizens' dietary decisions," Bryant said in a statement to ABC. "The responsibility for one's personal health depends on individual choices about a proper diet and appropriate exercise."

In response to the Harvard's findings, the American Beverage Association argued that their products aren't necessarily the cause of the health problems outlined in the study.

"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 industry group said in a statement. "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."

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