Sugar-sweetened sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks may be responsible for around 180,000 deaths across the world every year, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010.

Researchers calculated the quantities of sugar-sweetened drink consumed by age and sex across the world, and studied its effect on obesity and diabetes; and the impact of obesity and diabetes-related deaths.

They linked intake of sugar- sweetened beverages to 133,000 diabetes deaths, 44,000 deaths from cardiovascular diseases and 6,000 cancer deaths.

Compared to high-income countries, majority (78%) of these deaths due to over-consumption of sugary drinks were observed in low and middle-income countries.

Latin America/Caribbean had the most diabetes deaths (38,000) and East/Central Eurasia had the largest numbers of cardiovascular deaths (11,000) related to the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in 2010.

Mexico, one of the countries with the highest per-capita consumption of sugary beverages in the world, had the highest death rate due to these beverages, with 318 deaths per million adults.

Japan, one of the countries with lowest per-capita consumption of sugary beverages in the world, had the lowest death rate associated with the consumption of sugary beverages, at about 10 deaths per million adults.

Harvard School of Public Health in Boston postdoctoral research fellow and study co-author Gitanjali Singh said about 25,000 deaths in the US in 2010 were linked to drinking sugar-sweetened beverages.

"Because we were focused on deaths due to chronic diseases, our study focused on adults. Future research should assess the amount of sugary beverage consumption in children across the world and how this affects their current and future health," Singh said.

The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 is an international, collaborative, systematic effort to quantify the global distribution and causes of major diseases, injuries and health risk factors.