Sugary Drinks and Diabetes

Sugary Drinks and Diabetes

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It is well established that over-consumption of sugar is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. This connection is usually because of increased adiposity driven by high caloric intake. However, researchers have found that type 2 diabetes is linked to consumption of sugary drinks regardless of whether or not the individual gains fat from the increased sugar intake. Sugary drinks include sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice beverages.

Researchers found that one serving a day of a sugar-sweetened beverage is associated with a 13 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Similarly, consuming one serving a day of artificially sweetened beverages is associated with an 8 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And with fruit juice, one serving a day is associated with a 7 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Because sugary drinks are so widely and frequently consumed in the United States, this is a public health matter. These findings stress the benefit of reducing overall sugared beverage intake and show that replacing sugar sweetened beverages with artificially sweetened beverages or fruit juice does little to prevent the increased chance of type 2 diabetes associated with sugary drinks.