Researchers from various institutions in Europe found that drinking just a can of sugar-laced soda drink a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by more than a fifth. The results were published in July 2013 in ‘Diabetologia’, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
In order to find out whether a link between sugary drinks and diabetes risk also existed in Europe, the researchers used data including 12,403 Type-2 diabetics and a random population of 16,154 people identified within EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition). These participants, who came from Britain, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, France, Italy, and Netherlands, were questioned about their diet, including how many sugary and artificially sweetened soft drinks and juices they drank each day.
It was found that every extra 340 ml serving of sugar-sweetened drink increases the risk of diabetes by 22 percent, compared with drinking just 1 can a month or less. The risk was lowered to 18 percent after taking into account people’s total calorie intake and body-mass index (BMI), a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. But consumption of pure or diluted fruit juice was found not significantly linked to diabetes risk.
Consumption of sugary drinks increases the risk of developing diabetes beyond the effect on body weight, the researchers warned, people can be thin yet still develop diabetes.
Results of this study were similar to previous research showing that North Americans who consume sugary beverages have a 25 percent increased risk of diabetes. While an association between consumption of sugary drinks and higher risk of Type-2 diabetes was found, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Surge in diabetes cases are caused by unhealthy lifestyle. The International Diabetes Federation forecast that the number of diabetics worldwide will almost double to an estimated 552 million by 2030.