West Virginia leads all US states with the consumption of soft drinks.

An attorney with the West Virginia Beverage Association is speaking out against preliminary data in a study yet to be released by Emory University regarding sugary drink consumption in the Mountain State.

The information suggests that drinking sugary beverages can lead to death with diabetes, obesity and other conditions.

The study by the American Heart Association, says adults over the age of 45 who consume large amounts of sugary beverages have a higher risk of dying from heart disease compared to those who drink fewer sugary drinks.

The average consumption rate in West Virginia is 500 twelve-ounce servings per person per year.

The study says more than one-third of West Virginia adults drink sugary drinks daily.

Swann said there needs to be more data to support these findings. He said more people in America are purchasing bottled water compared to soda.

The AHA suggests consumers to consider healthier drink options with less sugar or no sugar at all. Swann said the WVBA and other beverage companies are already doing their part to help that cause.

Several groups in West Virginia, including the AHA, have pushed a sugary drink tax over the last few years in an effort to reduce consumption, but lobbyists shot it down.

Swann said the proposed tax would be "a job killer."

According to the WVBA's website, soft drink companies employ more than 2,000 West Virginians. The soft drink industry contributes more than $360 million to West Virginia's economy.

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