A narrative review of the effects of sugar-sweetened beverages on human health: A key global health issue

Main Article Content

Mainul Haque
Judy McKimm http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8949-5067
Massimo Sartelli https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3202-7542
Nandeeta Samad https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3623-0743
Seraj Zohurul Haque https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1148-6707
Muhamad Abu Bakar https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4057-9462


Effects; Sugar-Sweetened Beverages; Consumption; Tax; Human Oral Microbiome; Oral Health; Nutrition; Mortality; Morbidity; Global Health


The provision of healthy and safe food is vital for human health, and the addition of unnecessary sugars in foodstuffs is an important global issue, leading to multiple long- and short-term health issues and spiraling costs for individuals and governments alike. The negative effect of excess sugar consumption contributes to adverse health conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and poor oral health in both high and low resource settings. A key plank of governmental and health promotion bodies’ nutritional guidance is to raise public awareness of “hidden” sugars, salt, and fats, such as found in processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), and guide individuals to reduce their consumption. This rapid narrative review brings together some of the key issues identified in the literature around the consumption of SSBs, including patterns of consumption, the general impact on human health and nutrition, specific effects on oral health and the oral microbiome, and strategies to address over-con-sumption. The range of long-term adverse effects on health is often misunderstood or unknown by the public. However, some strategies have succeeded in reducing the consumption of SSBs, including public health strategies and interventions and the imposition of taxes or levies, and this article makes recommendations for action.

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