WASHINGTON - Sugary drinks may be contributing to about 180,000 deaths around the world, each year.
Drinks sweetened with sugar contribute to higher body weight, which can increase the chances of developing diabetes, heart diseases and some cancers.
In the U.S., sugary drinks may be leading to 25,000 deaths.
Scientists at the American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans Tuesday presented the data collected as part of the 2010 Global Burden Diseases Study.
"What sugar-sweetened beverages do is tend to increase the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes," says Alice Lichtenstein, a professor of Nutrition at Tufts University
She recommends drinking water. For a treat, she says stick to diet soft drinks or iced tea for adults.
The study focused on adults, but scientists say they plan to study the impact of sugary drinks on the health of children.
The Heart Association says no more than 450 calories a week should come from sugary drinks, based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
WTOP's Dick Uliano contributed to this report.
Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
© 2013 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.