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Strong Evidence Links Soft Drinks to Obesity & Type 2 Diabetes,

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:11pm

Wake up, soda drinkers! Even if you crave sweet, sugary, bubbly drinks, it's time to face the sour facts.

If you've been happily swigging soda with no concern about your health, it's time to reassess your habit.

Even if you've paid no heed to previous studies, you need to pay attention to a new, hard-to-ignore sytematic review, which provides strong evidence indicating that it would be wise for all Americans to shun soda -- or at least drastically cut back on it.

After looking at a whopping 88 studies, researchers from Yale University conclude, in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health, that drinking sugary soda is tied to:

  • Weight gain
  • Increased consumption of calories, and
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced intake of milk and fruit

Bear in mind that we're not just talking about one study. This was a careful look at a whopping 88 studies, and this review flat out concludes:

"Recommendations to reduce population soft drink consumption are strongly supported by the available science."

Meanwhile, this report comes from a very credible source. One review co-author was none other than renowned obesity expert Kelly Brownell, Ph.D., director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.

"Nobody claims there is a single cause to the obesity problem, but the existing science certainly puts soft drinks in the list of leading contributors," said Dr. Brownell, who greatly admired within the nutrition and healthy community. (In fact, I was thrilled when Dr. Brownell agreed to be interviewed for my book SUGAR SHOCK! )

If you have diabetes in your family, you'll really want to pay attention to this next bit of information, too.

Perhaps the “most striking link” was between drinking soft drinks and developing type 2 diabetes, according to the reviewers.

That's right -- there's a soda an type 2 diabetes link.

As MedicalNewsToday.com reports, in one study of 91,249 women, who were followed for eight years, those who consumed one or more soft drinks per day were twice as likely as those who consumed less than one per month to develop diabetes.

That's something to consider next time you want to swig one more sodas a day, don't you think?

"This result alone warrants serious concern about soft drink intake, particularly in light of the unprecedented rise in type 2 diabetes among children," the review points out.

The compelling review pointed out other shocking soda facts, too -- ones that we've talked about here previously.

For instance, if you down a soft drink, it just may not satisfy your sweet tooth. It may even do just the opposite.

As pointed out by Laura Kennedy, a contributing writer for Health Behavior News Service"several studies found that the caloric increase is actually greater than that contained in the soda. This then rasies "the possibility that soft drinks increase hunger, decrease satiety or simply calibrate people to a high level of sweetness that generalizes to preferences in other foods,” the review authors say.

As also pointed out in MedicalNewsToday.com, the reviewers also observe that:

"These results, taken together, provide clear and consistent evidence that people do not compensate for the added calories they consume in soft drinks by reducing their intake of other foods."

Of course, whenever you learn about a soda study, you need to look to the funding source. In this case, the review study was supported, in part, by the Rudd Foundation, a private philanthropic organization focusing on obesity and education.

Not surprisingly, the American Beverage Association -- which represents manufacturers of soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages -- blasts the study on its website, calling it "bias" and coming from "activists," etc. 

OK, here's what I suggest.

You decide who to believe -- scientists from Yale who looked at 44 different studies or an industry that seeks to continue to sell these sugary soft drinks.

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