WASHINGTONThe American Beverage Association (ABA) refuted a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that linked added sugar intake and cardiovascular disease mortality. Because the study is observational, it does not show cardiovascular disease (CVD) is caused by drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, according to ABA.
This study shows that adult consumption of added sugars has actually declined, as recently reported by the CDC," ABA said in a statement. "A significant part of that reduction is from decreased added sugars from beverages due, in part, to our member companies ongoing innovation in providing more low- and no-calorie options."
Quanhe Yang, senior scientist at the CDC, led the study to examine trends of added sugar consumption in the United States and investigate its association with CVD mortality. Researchers used National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) for the time trend analysis, as well as NHANES III Linked Mortality cohort, a representative sample of U.S. adults, for the association study. The team's research was published by JAMA Internal Medicine.
According to the study's results, subjects who consumed 17% to 21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from CVD compared to those who consumed 8% or less of their calories from sugar. The risk doubled for those who consumed 21% or more of their calories from added sugar. However, ABA stated that this study's findings do not establish causation, but show association. The data used by researchers is also self-reported based on 24-hour recalls, which may have methodological inaccuracies.
Heart diseases are complex issues with no single cause or simple solution, and according to the ABA, maintaining appropriate body weight and being physically active are actions people should take to help lower CVD risk.
The beverage industry also refuted a CDC report on added sugars in 2012, which said beverages are one of the leading sources of calories from added sugars. ABA noted that the industry provides consumers with more choices, smaller portions and fewer calories than ever before.