Drinking just two sugary beverages a day boosts your risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 31 percent.
People who drink more sugar-sweetened beverages, including regular soda, fruit juice, fortified fruit drinks and Kool-Aid are far more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who instead drink diet soda, orange juice or grapefruit juice, according to researchers at the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University.
The study: Led by Julie R. Palmer, the team examined the association between type 2 diabetes, weight gain and the consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks in 43,960 African American women. In 1995 and again in 2001, the women completed a questionnaire about the types of foods and beverages they typically consumed. A total of 17 percent reported drinking one sugar-sweetened soft drink each day, 32 percent drank one sweetened fruit drink each day and 22 percent had at least one glass of orange juice or grapefruit juice.
The results: Over 10 years of follow-up, 2,713 of the women developed type 2 diabetes. Those who drank more regular soft drinks and fruit drinks were more likely to develop diabetes than those who drank less of those beverages.
"Our study suggests that the mechanism for the increase in diabetes risk associated with soft drink consumption is primarily through increased weight. Reducing consumption of soft drinks or switching from sugar-sweetened soft drinks to diet soft drinks is a concrete step that women may find easier to achieve than other approaches to weight loss," the authors write in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
- Women who drank two or more soft drinks per day had a 24 percent increase in diabetes risk, compared with women who drank less than one soft drink per month.
- Those who drank two or more fruit drinks per day had a 31 percent increased risk, compared with women who drank less than one per month.
- Diet soft drinks, grapefruit juice and orange juice were not associated with diabetes risk.
The rate of type 2 diabetes continues to increase, particularly in developed countries. By the year 2030, 11.2 percent of U.S. adults are expected to have the condition. The No. 1 way to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes is to watch your weight and not get fat.
--From the Editors at Netscape