New York City’s controversial ban on large soda drinks was blocked in March, but the ban’s backers may have been onto something. A new study suggests about 184,000 global deaths a year can be linked to sugary drinks.

Gitanjali Singh of Harvard University and colleagues examined survey data covering 60 percent of the world’s population. They worked out the obesity rates resulting from sugary drink consumption and looked at the number of deaths from obesity-related diseases to calculate that 184,000 deaths each year could be associated with sugary beverages – about the same as the number of people killed by asthma.

– The Lancet