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Risk of Diabetes Increased with High Soda Intake

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Morgan Cain2 years ago

On Tuesday July 21st, HealthDay News announced that drinking large amounts of sugary soda or other sweetened drinks increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, whether you are slim or obese.  

About Increased Risk of Diabetes without Obesity reports that this new study about type 2 diabetes removes weight, particularly obesity, as a contributing factor to the development of diabetes.

Until this analysis, health professionals have believed sugary drinks and type 2 diabetes were interlinked due to sugar promoting weight gain, which contributed to insulin resistance leading to the development of diabetes. In the new analysis researchers found that every daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages increases an individual’s risk of type 2 diabetes by 13 percent over 10 years.

This new study, if found valid, indicates that sugary drinks could lead to two million new cases of type 2 diabetes from the year 2010 to 2020 in the United States.  The researchers released this information on July 22nd in the online edition of the BMJ.

The study analyzed how a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar, and how this much refined sugar consumed at once can cause a spike in blood sugar.  Over time this can increase insulin resistance even in people who are not obese or over weight, according to Fmiaki Imamura a senior investigator with MRC Epidemiology Unit at University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.

These summations result from data collected in 17 previous observational studies that created a pool of slightly over 38,200 people. Due to the fact these were not clinical trials the findings are not read as proving a direct link between type 2 diabetes and sugary drinks, as stated by the American Beverage Association.

The Effort to Change Sugary Drinks

Balance Calories is a new initiative with members of the American Beverage Association, which is working toward the common goal of reducing beverage calories in the American diet by 20 percent by 2025.

Close to one in five people with type 2 diabetes has a healthy weight. Toby Smithson, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Livongo Health in Chicago who spoke on this was quoted saying, “If you can picture an IV of sugar going into your system that’s what we call a ‘concentrated sweet’, and that’s what happens when you consume something loaded with sugar. That concentration can spike blood glucose levels, regardless of your weight”.

It is also theorized that high levels of dietary sugar can affect the “healthy” microbial colonies in the gut, this changes digestion in a way that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Steven Smith an endocrinologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

In the new study, there were also findings of an association between type 2 diabetes and artificially sweetened beverages or fruit juices. However, the associations with diet sodas and fruit juices appeared to not have as concrete evidence, therefore the authors chose to avoid drawing any solid conclusions concerning those beverages.

All the same the researchers reported that they could not recommend fruit juices or diet drinks as being healthier options than sugary sodas.  


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