Sweetening the risk of type 2 diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is often considered a lifestyle disease, predominantly affecting mature adults and strongly associated with high blood pressure, cholesterol, and obesity.
Sugar sweetened beverages have received a lot of attention recently for their potential contribution to obesity and risk of type-2 diabetes. Some recommendations have included artificially sweetened drinks and fruit juice as healthier alternatives to sugar sweetened beverages but their association with type-2 diabetes is not well known.
Researchers analysed existing data on the link between consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened drinks and fruit juice and type-2 diabetes, taking into account the effect of obesity.
The analysis assessed people’s beverage consumption (frequency and type), adiposity (body fat) and incidence of type-2 diabetes. They also estimated the risk of type-2 diabetes that could be attributed to sustained consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages over a 10 year period.
The results showed that increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with greater incidence of type-2 diabetes, independent of obesity. They also observed an increase associated with consumption of artificially sweetened drinks and fruit juice, however these findings were not as strong.
Assuming sustained levels of consumption of sugar sweetened drinks over a 10 year period, and a causal relationship between consumption and incidence of type-2 diabetes, researchers estimated that over a decade, two million cases of type-2 diabetes in the US and 80,000 in the UK would be associated with consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
There are various limitations to this study so results should be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, this adds further weight to evidence around the unhealthy effects of consuming sugary drinks. There is substantial evidence linking soft drink consumption to increased risk of overweight and obesity. While the results linking artificially sweetened beverages and fruit juices to type-2 diabetes were weak, these did not appear to be healthy options for preventing type-2 diabetes. When you’re feeling parched, the best bet for good health is a tall glass of H2O.
Last Reviewed: 22/05/2018
Norman Swan Medical Communications
Imamura, F et al. Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice and incidence of type 2 diabetes: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimation of population attributable fraction. BMJ 2015;351:h3576 | doi: 10.1136/bmj.h3576
Sugary drinks increase cancer risk
A study shows that the consumption of sugary drinks, including fruit juices, seems to be connected with a higher risk of cancer.
Sugar and sugar cravings
Our consumption of free sugar has tripled since 1960, with soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice and cordial the most significant sources. The World Health Organization recommends free sugars be less than 10% of your total energy intake - that's 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
How food choices can cut cancer risk
Much cancer is preventable by simple nutrition and lifestyle changes. A new study has estimated how seven different types of foods can influence cancer risk equivalent to alcohol, obesity and physical inactivity.
Dietary guidelines for healthy eating
The Australian Dietary Guidelines are designed to give you enough of the nutrients essential for good health and reduce your risk of some diseases.
The benefits of home cooked meals
The convenience of eating at a restaurant, picking up fast food or having pre-prepared meals delivered to your doorstep is tempting however is it bad for your health?