Reduced sugar in soft drinks would prevent diabetes, study says
Reducing the amount of sugar in soft drinks and fruit juices by 40% over five years could prevent 300,000 cases of diabetes in the UK and stop 1.5 million people from being overweight or obese, according to a study.
The report, immediately welcomed by Public Health England as a particular route to curbing excess weight in young people, is based on efforts to reduce salt content in many foods, which has already seen the amount used cut by a similar amount over the same time period.
Published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, the study used data from both the government’s national diet and nutrition survey and the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) to calculate the consumption of so-called sugar-sweetened beverages, and how much they contribute to UK-wide sugar and energy intakes.
The authors, Prof Graham MacGregor and fellow academics at Queen Mary University of London, then estimated how much a person’s energy intake would fall through the hypothetical drop in sugar content, and the resultant reduction in body weight.
The report calculated that the 40% drop in sugar over five years would, by the end of the final year, see an average drop in adult body weight of 1.2kg, meaning about 500,000 adults would no longer be overweight and a million would not be obese.
This in turn would prevent between 274,000 and 309,000 cases of obesity-related type 2 diabetes over the next 20 years, the report concluded.
If fruit juices were excluded from the scheme, the study said, it could still prevent up to 250,000 cases of diabetes over the same period, with an averag Continue reading