Drink­ing more soda, juice tied to in­creased di­a­betes risk

Edmonton Sun - - LIFE - LISA RA­PA­PORT Reuters

Peo­ple who in­crease their con­sump­tion of so­das, juices and other sweet drinks over time are more likely than those who don’t to de­velop di­a­betes, a U.S. study sug­gests.

Re­searchers ex­am­ined over two decades of data from more than 192,000 men and women who worked in nurs­ing or other health­care jobs. None of the par­tic­i­pants had di­a­betes at the start of the study; by the end al­most 12,000 peo­ple had de­vel­oped the dis­ease.

Af­ter ac­count­ing for how much peo­ple weighed and their over­all eat­ing pat­terns, re­searchers found that those who in­creased their to­tal con­sump­tion of sug­ary drinks by a half serv­ing a day over four years were 16% more likely to de­velop di­a­betes over the next fouryear pe­riod. With the same daily half-serv­ing in­crease in ar­ti­fi­cially-sweet­ened drinks, the odds went up 18%.

“Even though con­sump­tion of 100% fruit juices has been con­sid­ered a healthy al­ter­na­tive to sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages be­cause of the vi­ta­mins and min­er­als in fruit juices, they typ­i­cally con­tain sim­i­lar amounts of sugar and calo­ries as sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages,” said Jean-philippe Drouinchar­tier, lead au­thor of the study and a nutri­tion re­searcher at the Har­vard T.H. Chan School of Pub­lic Health in Bos­ton.

The study re­sults “raise con­cerns about the neg­a­tive health ef­fects of sug­ary bev­er­ages, re­gard­less of whether the sugar is added or nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring,” Drouin-chartier said by email.

The re­searchers fo­cused on type 2 di­a­betes in the study, the most com­mon form of the dis­ease, which is as­so­ci­ated with obe­sity and ag­ing.

They also found that when peo­ple re­placed so­das, juices and other sug­ary bev­er­ages with other kinds of drinks, their risk of de­vel­op­ing di­a­betes went down. Re­plac­ing one serv­ing a day of sug­ary drinks with wa­ter, cof­fee or tea, was as­so­ci­ated with a 2% to 10% low­er­ing of di­a­betes risk. The data did not in­clude in­for­ma­tion about whether peo­ple added sugar to their cof­fee or tea, the study team notes. The analysis also wasn’t de­signed to prove whether or how drink se­lec­tions might di­rectly im­pact the devel­op­ment of di­a­betes.

It’s pos­si­ble that diet so­das and other ar­ti­fi­cially-sweet­ened drinks were tied to higher di­a­betes risk be­cause peo­ple switched to these bev­er­ages af­ter they

de­vel­oped di­a­betes or re­al­ized they were on track to get the dis­ease, the study team ac­knowl­edges in Di­a­betes Care.

How­ever, the re­sults should still serve as a re­minder that even some sug­ary drinks that peo­ple think of as healthy — like or­ange juice - can still lead to el­e­vated blood sugar and con­trib­ute to the devel­op­ment of di­a­betes, said Dr. Robert Co­hen, a di­a­betes re­searcher at the Uni­ver­sity

of Cincin­nati Col­lege of Medicine in Ohio, who wasn’t in­volved in the study.

“Sug­ary bev­er­ages that peo­ple might oth­er­wise think of as be­ing healthy pro­vide a load of sugar (su­crose) which gets bro­ken down to glu­cose and raises blood glu­cose,” Co­hen said by email. “Re­mov­ing or markedly re­duc­ing bev­er­ages like fruit juices can have a dra­matic ef­fect to im­prove blood sugar control.”

Even though con­sump­tion of 100% fruit juices has been con­sid­ered a healthy al­ter­na­tive ... they typ­i­cally con­tain sim­i­lar amounts of sugar and calo­ries as sug­ar­sweet­ened bev­er­ages.”

Jean-philippe drouin-chartier, nutri­tion re­searcher

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