Are You Drinking Your Way to Diabetes?
Scientists have previously documented a link between sugar-sweetened soda consumption and type 2 diabetes in the United States. Now European scientists have shown that the same relationship between soda consumption and incidence of type 2 diabetes also exists in Europe. Furthermore, by mining data obtained through the massive international health survey, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, researchers determined that even artificially-sweetened “diet” soft drinks are linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes.
It’s unclear if sugary drink consumption causes increased diabetes risk, or if it is simply emblematic of a person who consumes more sugar throughout the day from other sources. People who consumed 100% fruit juice, for example, were not at increased risk of developing diabetes. But each 12-ounce sugar-sweetened soft drink consumed was linked to an 18% increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study identified an association between soft drink consumption and diabetes risk, but this type of study is not designed to prove definitively that one thing caused the other; it merely identifies an association between the two.
People who drank a soda (or more) every day were about 30% more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes then people who drank a sugar-sweetened beverage just once a month. Scientists speculate that the sharp spike in blood sugar, and the surge in insulin that follows soft drink consumption, may be involved in provoking or encouraging diabetes. As always, I suggest reacquainting yourself with water. Pure, plain, fresh, and simple, water is one of the keys to achieving optimal health.
The InterAct consortium. Consumption of sweet beverages and type 2 diabetes incidence in European adults: results from EPIC-InterAct. Diabetologia. 2013 Apr 26. [Epub ahead of print]