Regular intake of sugar-sweetened soft drinks can increase the risk of diabetes and heart diseases, a new study has claimed.

According to researchers at the University of California, such drinks — soft, sport and fruit beverages excluding 100 per cent fruit juice — contain between 120 to 200 calories per drink and play a major role in the rising tide of obesity.

Estimates presented at the American Heart Association’s annual conference say that the increased consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks between 1990 and 2000 contributed to 1,30,000 new cases of diabetes and 14,000 new cases of coronary heart disease (CHD) in the U.S. over the past decade.

“We can demonstrate an association between daily consumption of sugared beverages and diabetes risk and translate this information into estimates of the current diabetes and cardiovascular diseases that can be attributed to the rise in consumption of these drinks,” lead author Litsa Lambrakos said.

“We want to make the general public more aware of the adverse health outcomes of consuming these drinks over time and help support disease prevention and curb consumption of these drinks,” Ms. Litsa was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.

Over the last decade, at least 6,000 excess deaths from any cause and 21,000 life-years lost in the U.S. can be attributed to the increase in sugar-sweetened drinks.

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