Mexico is renowned for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world, so it might sound strange to hear that sugary drinks pose a bigger threat to life here than violent crime.

Sugar-sweetened beverages such as Coca-Cola, Gatorade and homemade drinks known as “agua fresca” kill far more people every year in Mexico than criminal gangs.

A study by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University estimates a staggering 24,000 Mexicans die each year from diabetes, cancer and heart disease that are linked to sugary drinks.

Compare that figure to the roughly 15,649 murders officially recorded in 2014 and it’s clear which is the biggest killer in the Latin American country.

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