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Epidemiology and Population Health

Mortality attributable to sugar sweetened beverages consumption in Mexico: an update



In 2010, sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) were estimated to cause 12% of all diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and obesity-related cancer deaths in Mexico. Using new risk estimates for SSBs consumption, we aimed to update the fraction of Mexican mortality attributable to SSBs, and provide subnational estimates by region, age, and sex.


We used an established comparative risk assessment framework. All-cause mortality estimates were calculated from a recent pooled cohort analysis. Age- and sex-specific relative risks for SSBs-disease relationships were obtained from updated meta-analyses. Demographics and nationally representative estimates of SSBs intake were derived from the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2012; and mortality rates, from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography. Attributable mortality was calculated by estimating the population attributable fraction of each disease, with uncertainty in data inputs propagated through Monte Carlo probabilistic sensitivity analyses.


In Mexican adults 20 years and older, 6.9% (95%UI: 5.4–8.5) of all cause-mortality was attributable to SSBs, representing 40,842 excess deaths/year (95%UI: 31,950–50,138). Furthermore, 19% of diabetes, CVD and obesity-related cancer mortality was attributable to SSBs (95%UI: 11.0–26.5), representing 37,000 excess deaths/year (95%UI 21,240–51,045). Of these, 35.6% were diabetes-related (95%UI 16.4–52.0). Proportional burden was highest in the South (22.8%), followed by the Center (18.0%) and North (17.4%). Men aged 45–64-years in the Center region had highest proportional mortality (37.2%), followed by 20–44-year-old men living in the South (35.7%) and both men and women aged 20–44 living in the Center (34.4%).


Utilizing current evidence linking SSBs to cardiometabolic disease and obesity-related cancers, earlier estimates of Mexican mortality attributable to SSBs could have been underestimated. Mexico urgently needs stronger policies to reduce SSBs consumption and reduce these burdens.

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This paper was funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies and supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (PI Mozaffarian), and from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (grant number R00HL124321). Tonatiuh Barrientos was supported by the Lown Scholars program from Harvard University.

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Braverman-Bronstein, A., Camacho-García-Formentí, D., Zepeda-Tello, R. et al. Mortality attributable to sugar sweetened beverages consumption in Mexico: an update. Int J Obes 44, 1341–1349 (2020).

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