March 19, 2013
In response to "Mortality Due to Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption: A Global, Regional, and National Comparative Risk Assessment." presented at a moderated poster session at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention (EPI) and Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions, the Canadian Beverage Association issued the following statement:
"The Canadian Beverage Association feels that it is over simplistic and naive to believe that one single food or beverage can be held responsible for obesity. In fact, the Canadian government looked at fats, carbohydrates, protein and fibre in the diet and concluded that "it is not what you eat, but rather, how much - the total number of calories consumed - that significantly contributes to obesity.
In this abstract, which is neither peer reviewed nor published in a way that its methodology can be fully evaluated, the researchers have made a substantial leap by taking global beverage intake calculations and alleging that consumption of those beverages is the cause of deaths, which the authors acknowledge are actually due to chronic disease. The researchers have
demonstrated that chronic diseases (including diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer, the real cause of death among those studied), are caused by consuming beverages. This abstract makes for sensational headlines but isn't backed up by science. It simply does not prove causation.
Obesity is affected by lifestyle, such as diet and physical activity, as well as inherited and social influences, not simply one particular food or beverage. Battling chronic disease is a complex challenge with no single cause and no simple solution. While many of these diseases have risk factors that are beyond our control, there are things we can do to help mitigate risks, including not smoking, maintaining an appropriate body weight, being physically active and having regular medical checkups."