Drinking just one can of fizzy pop a day can increase a person's chances of contracting heart disease by a third, researchers in the US say.
The team at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia found a link between levels of sugar in carbonated beverages and cardiac-related deaths.
Sugar is added to many food products to change its taste, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says] that people should be careful to ensure that it does not exceed ten per cent of their daily intake of calories.
According to Dr Quanhe Yang, who led the study, at least 70 per cent of people living in the US pay no attention to this warning and around a tenth get more than a quarter of their calories from added sugar.
People who consumed between 17 and 21 per cent of daily calories from sugar where found to be 38 per cent more likely of dying from heart conditions than those whose consumption was under ten per cent.
With a 360ml can of pop containing as much as eight teaspoons of sugar, the researchers believe drinking one each day increased the risk of cardiovascular disease by 29 per cent.
In the UK, the average daily sugar consumption is 12 teaspoons, but some people are believed to consume as many as 46.
Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of the campaign group Action on Sugar, told the Daily Mail: "It clearly shows a high sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks, highlighting the need for much more focus on reducing sugar to reduce obesity and cardiovascular risk.
"Not only is added sugar an unnecessary cause of calories and a cause of tooth decay, but also predisposes to strokes and heart attacks. We need to take action now".
Earlier this week, WHO called for restrictions to be placed on sugar as well as alcohol because it fears the world is heading towards a "tidal wave" of cancer cases.
Find the nearest Barchester nursing home