South Africa’s sugary drinks shock

South Africa ranks second, behind only Mexico, when it comes to deaths related to the consumption of sugary drinks.

This is according to a report by Boston based Tufts University, and published in the journal Circulation, which found that sugary drinks may lead to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year globally.

Estimates of consumption were made from 62 dietary surveys including 611,971 individuals, conducted between 1980 and 2010 across 51 countries, along with data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries.

In Mexico, 405 per million adults died due to the consumption of sugary drinks, while South Africa has 153 deaths per million adults.

Read: Why South Africa needs a sugar tax

The top 10 countries for deaths related to sugary drinks:

  1. Mexico
  2. South Africa
  3. Morocco
  4. US
  5. Colombia
  6. Brazil
  7. Canada
  8. Russia
  9. Germany
  10. Nigeria

Separate research that appeared in journal Plos One in August, showed that South Africans consume an average of 165ml of fizzy drinks daily, well above the global average of 133ml.

A separate ranking by Bloomberg shows that South Africa is one of the unhealthiest countries in the world – with the highest risk rating, globally.

The ranking assess countries with at least one million people, combining 2012 data from the World health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations and World Bank.

The results are based on a health score and a risk score, expressed as a health grade (health score minus the risk score) where 100% indicates healthy.

The health score looks at life expectancy, infant mortality, immunization rates, causes of death, death rates in different age groups and life expectancy beyond 65.

The risk score looks at population habits such as smoking and alcohol, over- and under-weight demographics, pollution and many other factors.

Singapore, with a grade of 89.45% is ranked as the world’s healthiest country. It had the lowest risk score of all 145 countries assessed (3.07%), and the fourth-highest health score (92.52%).

Italy has the highest overall health score (94.61%), but with a risk score of 5.54%, its balance is 89.07% – second to Singapore.

This is followed by Australia (88.33%), Switzerland (88.29%) and Japan (86.83%).

25 Healthiest countries in the world

# Country Health Score Risk Score Grade
1 Singapore 92.52 3.07 89.45
2 Italy 94.61 5.54 89.07
3 Australia 93.19 4.86 88.33
4 Switzerland 93.47 5.17 88.29
5 Japan 91.08 4.25 86.83
6 Israel 91.97 6.00 85.97
7 Spain 91.26 6.90 84.36
8 Netherlands 88.40 4.31 84.09
9 Sweden 89.37 5.47 83.90
10 Germany 88.81 5.23 83.58
11 Cyprus 88.87 5.57 83.29
12 Austria 89.12 6.02 83.10
13 France 88.66 5.68 82.99
14 Canada 88.60 6.14 82.46
15 New Zealand 87.87 6.08 81.79
16 Greece 86.40 4.77 81.63
17 Hong Kong 86.10 4.69 81.41
18 Norway 86.53 6.01 80.53
19 Ireland 86.48 6.57 79.91
20 Belgium 82.88 5.40 77.48
21 United Kingdom 82.82 5.98 76.84
22 Finland 82.12 5.43 76.69
23 Portugal 81.72 6.57 75.15
24 Costa Rica 79.39 5.38 74.01
25 Slovenia 80.29 7.27 73.02

On the opposite end of the scale, the world’s unhealthiest countries are dominated by African nations, with Afghanistan being the only non-African country in the bottom 25.

Swaziland, with a health score of 8.31% and a risk score of 8.05%, is the worst off with a health grade of only 0.26%, behind Lesotho, with a score of 0.37%.

The democratic Republic of Congo had the lowest health score (7.47%) of all countries assessed, but its risk score of 6.56% gave it the third-lowest grade of 0.92%.

South Africa ranked 123rd overall, with a grade of 12.05%. While the country is the 23rd unhealthiest nation in the world – it has the highest risk score of all 145 countries at 8.95%.

South Africa suffers from high levels of HIV and related diseases, and is also considered one of the most obese countries in the world.

It also has high levels of alcohol consumption, along with widespread poverty and exposure to violence and crime.

Life expectancy at birth stands at 61 years, having increased from an estimated 52 years in 2005, according to StatsSA.

25 Unhealthiest countries in the world

# Country Health Score Risk Score Grade
145 Swaziland 8.31 8.05 0.26
144 Lesotho 8.37 8.00 0.37
143 Democratic Republic of Congo 7.47 6.54 0.92
142 Chad 8.14 7.13 1.01
141 Mozambique 8.48 7.06 1.42
140 Burundi 9.15 7.42 1.73
139 Malawi 8.22 5.92 2.30
138 Angola 9.56 7.11 2.46
137 Uganda 10.80 7.88 2.92
136 Cameroon 10.15 7.19 2.96
135 Cote d’Ivoire 10.40 6.65 3.75
134 Guinea 11.14 7.30 3.84
133 Afghanistan 10.09 6.06 4.03
132 Nigeria 13.32 8.16 5.16
131 Burkina Faso 12.30 6.20 6.10
130 Republic of Congo 14.95 6.87 8.08
129 Mali 15.03 6.35 8.68
128 Ethiopia 16.26 5.71 10.55
127 Liberia 17.87 7.25 10.61
126 Mauritania 17.69 6.84 10.84
125 Rwanda 18.15 7.24 10.92
124 Tanzania 18.43 7.05 11.38
123 South Africa 21.00 8.95 12.05
122 Benin 18.31 5.84 12.47
121 Namibia 20.71 8.21 12.49

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South Africa’s sugary drinks shock