Why is America ignoring this leading killer?
It seems we've declared war on just about every leading killer in the United States.
There's a war on cancer... on diabetes... on Alzheimer's. We even spend a fortune on road safety campaigns to reduce car accident deaths.
But there's one top killer that gets almost no attention at all.
This killer snuffs out nearly as many American lives as automobile accidents every year. Yet instead of declaring "war" on it as well -- instead of it becoming the subject of a national debate -- this major cause of death is marketed with a mix of feel-good music and nostalgia.
But make no mistake about it, it's still a cold-blooded killer.
Sugar-sweetened soft drinks such as soda cause our weight to balloon leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and eventually death.
A new analysis published in the journal Circulation estimates the number of deaths that can be blamed directly on soft drinks such as soda, and the results are shocking: According to the researchers sugar-sweetened drinks are responsible for 180,000 deaths around the world each year.
Closer to home, 25,000 of those sugar-sweetened deaths are right here in the United States, putting it only slightly behind traffic accidents and firearms – and right on par with antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
The problem with soda is that while everyone recognizes that sugar is unhealthy, few realize that even small amounts can cause potentially deadly damage inside the body.
One study last year found that just 20 ounces of soda a day -- less than two cans -- can cause the type of damage to your DNA that's linked to chronic disease and premature death. And this supposedly "moderate" habit can slash nearly five years off your life.
If you're trying to shake a soda habit, don't make the switch to diet. Many of the chemical sweeteners used in place of sugar are nearly as bad, which is why a study just this spring found that diet soft drinks can cause fat to accumulate right around your middle.
Make a clean break instead... before you become part of these grim statistics yourself.
Instead of soda, try herbal teas over ice. You can enjoy plenty of flavor as well as benefits instead of risks -- and it's the perfect thirst-quencher on a hot summer day.