Harvard study links sugary drinks to 180,000 deaths worldwide

New research from the Harvard School of Public Health links 180,000 deaths worldwide each year to sugary drinks.

Most of these deaths are from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. USA Today reports that as much as 75 percent of deaths were from diabetes.

The study shows that the United States has the third highest number of deaths related to sugary drinks of the worldâ??s largest counties,

according to USA Today

. Mexico has the most deaths attributable to sugary drinks while Japan has the fewest.

The "Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet," released by The Harvard School of Public Health, claims that 2 of 3 adults and 1 of 3 children "in the United States are overweight or obese" and that "rising consumption of sugary drinks has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic."

The fact sheet calls soda "liquid candy," which typically has 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar and more than 240 calories in an average 20-ounce drink.

According to the fact sheet, sugary drinks are the leading source of calories for teens in the U.S.

American children ages 6 to 11 consume 209 calories per day is about, an increase of about 60% since the late 1980s, according the Harvard fact sheet.

The American Beverage Association dismissed the Harvard study,

saying it was

"more about sensationalism than science. It does not show that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages causes chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer â?? the real causes of death among the studied subjects."

Last week, a judge in New York City

struck down Mayor

Michael Bloombergâ??s ban on sugary drinks over 16-ounces. The judge determined the ban was arbitrary because it applied to some beverages and sellers but not others.