Sugary drinks may cause type 2 diabetes regardless of size, research says
Sugar-sweetened drinks such as colas and lemonades may play a part in the alarming rise of type 2 diabetes in the UK and the US, according to new research – regardless of whether people are obese or not.
Researchers from Cambridge University said they also found a link, albeit weak, between type 2 diabetes and people who drink fruit juices or “diet” drinks containing artificial sweeteners. These are not a good substitute for sugar-sweetened drinks, they say. “Unsweetened coffee and tea or water may be the healthy option,” said Fumiaki Imamura, from the Medical Research Council epidemiology unit at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.
The paper follows the final recommendations of the government’s scientific advisory committee on nutrition (SACN), which on Friday urged a cut in added sugar consumption to no more than 5% of a person’s diet. In particular, the independent advisers said, people should cut down on the amount of sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks, soft drinks and squash they consume.
The Cambridge team, who have published their research in the British Medical Journal, say they cannot prove that too many sweetened drinks causes type 2 diabetes from the evidence they were able to gather. But, if one assumes causality, “the current consumption of sugar sweetened beverages was estimated to cause approximately 2m excess events of type 2 diabetes in the USA and 80,000 in the UK over 10 years. This could cost nearly £12bn in the USA and £206m in the UK,” they write.
Links between obesity and type 2 diabetes are largely accepted. The res Continue reading