JUST in case you were in any doubt about the extent of the diabetes epidemic, the number of people in the UK with the disease rose to a new all time high of three million this year. That’s almost one in 20 of the population. The risk of diabetes rose by as much as an incredible 22 per cent for every can of soft drink consumed per day.
The study followed almost 30,000 people living in eight European countries, including Britain and found the risk rose by as much as 22 per cent for every 12oz serving of sugar-sweetened drink – a typical can – consumed per day. While soft drinks have previously been linked with weight gain and obesity researchers say the effect goes beyond body weight and may be caused by an increase in insulin resistance.
The research, published in Diabetologia, used data on the consumption of juices and nectars, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and artificially sweetened soft drinks. It involved 12,403 people with type-2 diabetes and 16,154 without diabetes. Researchers advised that people should be cautious about the amount of sugary soft drink they consumed.
The scientists, led by Dr Dora Romaguera, from Imperial College London, wrote in the journal Diabetologia: “This study corroborates the association between increased incidence of type-2 diabetes and high consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks in European adults.
“Given the increase in sweet beverage consumption in Europe, clear messages on its deleterious effect on health should be given to the population.”
An increased risk of diabetes was also linked to consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks, but the association disappeared when BMI was taken into account. In this case, it looks as if body weight is responsible for the trend rather than the drink itself. Fruit juice consumption was not associated with diabetes incidence.
Diabetes occurs when the body stops responding properly to the hormone insulin, leading to rising blood sugar levels. Unlike type-1 diabetes it is lifestyle-related and not an auto-immune condition.
Source: Consumption of sweet beverages and type 2 diabetes incidence in European adults: results from EPIC-InterAct’ by The InterAct Consortium, published in Diabetologia on Wednesday 24th April.
- Consumption Of Artificial Sweeteners Associated With Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Cardiovascular Disease (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Do Diet Drinks Mess Up Metabolisms? (wnyc.org)
- Diet soda won’t save you from obesity or diabetes (grist.org)
- Science Suggests Weight-Loss Soda Drinks May Have Opposite Effect (medicalnewstoday.com)