A recent review of clinical studies has found an increase in the risk of diabetes with habitual intake of sugar sweetened and artificially sweetened drinks.
Since the amended sugar intake recommendations have come into play, there has been an increase in awareness of sugar intake, particularly from high sugar drinks. Popular replacements for high sugar drinks has been artificially sweetened drinks, or juices.
Researchers have reported in the British Medical Journal on whether intake of sugar sweetened drinks is associated with incidence of type 2 diabetes. The researchers also investigated whether artificially sweetened drinks or juices are associated with type 2 diabetes. The researchers reviewed all available studies, providing estimates on the 10-year risk of type 2 diabetes due to habitual intake of high sugar drinks in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
The study reported that higher intake of sugar sweetened drinks was associated with an increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes (18% increase per one serving/day). There was also an increase in incidence of type 2 diabetes seen with increased intake of artificially sweetened drinks (25%), and for fruit juice (5%).
The researchers estimate that of the 20.9 million type 2 diabetes diagnoses over a 10 year period in the United States, 1.8 million of these diagnoses would be due to intake of high sugar drinks. In the United Kingdom, the researchers estimate that of the 2.6 million type 2 diabetes diagnoses, 79 000 would be due to intake of high sugar drinks.
The researchers conclude that habitual intake of high sugar drinks is associated with incidence of type 2 diabetes. In addition, they state that both artificially sweetened drinks and fruit juice do not appear to be healthy alternatives to high sugar drinks, in terms of type 2 diabetes prevention. The results suggest reducing intake of sugar sweetened, artificially sweetened, and fruit juice drinks in prevention of type 2 diabetes.
“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” British Medical Journal 2015; 351 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3576 (Published 21 July 2015)
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Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD