There’s a 50% rise in heart diseases in India. Blame salt, and air pollution

Recent reviews have found that when calories are matched, fructose-containing sugars (like sucrose) do not appear to cause weight gain or affect blood pressure when compared with other forms of macronutrients (other carbohydrates, fats and protein); however, when sugars provide excess calories, this can lead to weight gain and increases in cardiometabolic risk factors.


India, which accounts for about 18 per cent of the world’s population, bears 23 per cent of the global disease burden for ischemic heart disease (damage in the heart’s major blood vessels). The disability adjusted life year (DALY) rate of rheumatic heart disease (damage to one or more heart valves that remains after an episode of acute rheumatic fever) has decreased considerably over time, but India still bears 38 per cent of the global disease burden for it. One DALY can be thought of as one lost year of “healthy” life, according to the World Health Organisation.

There has been extensive research focused on soda or other caloric beverages and their role in health outcomes. While these studies provide data on the role that caloric beverages may have in health, these beverages are not a proxy for all the ways that sugar is consumed in the diet, and these studies should not be extrapolated to represent the role of sugar in health.

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