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Diabetes Risk: Sugar-Sweetened vs Artificially Sweetened Beverages

Posted Feb 04 2013 3:00am
I don't know about you, but it was tough watching the San Francisco 49ers lose last night in the Super Bowl.  But as w/many Americans, I really watch the game for the commercials.  In this year's series, I was particularly curious about the soft drink ads, especially Coke & Pepsi , especially after a a prospective population-based study was published early online last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in which the authors concluded that both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages were associated with increase risk of diabetes, compared to 100% fruit juice consumption.

To arrive at their conclusion, the authors followed 66,118 French women for 14 years and compared consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) to artificially sweetened beverages (ASB), using 100% fruit juice consumption as the control.  Of note, those who drank fruit juice reported no increase risk of diabetes while those who drank more than 359mL/wk of SSB or 603mL/wk of ASB statistically significantly greater risk of developing diabetes.  Think about it: barely one 12 ounce can of SSB each week (and less than 2 cans of ASB) is enough to increase your risk of diabetes.  

Of course, science is never clear cut.  Just 2 months ago back in November, another study published in this same journal concluded that SSB consumption increased one's risk of developing diabetes, but that ASB did not .  So we can agree to disagree:  SSB is linked to diabetes while the jury is out regarding ASB.  Keep your eyes peeled for more research.
Follow @alvinblin

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