One Sugar-Sweetened Soda A Day Boosts Diabetes Risk

  • Share
  • Read Later
Getty Images

All it takes is one can of soda to increase risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%, according to a new study.

In the study published in Diabetologia, researchers studied diet and drinking habits of about 28,500 people from Britain, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, France, Italy, and the Netherlands over a period of 15 years.

Those who consumed a 12 oz serving of a sugared-beverage on average daily — about the size of a soda can — had a greater risk of developing diabetes compared to people who drank a can once a month or less.

(MORE: Sugary Beverages Linked to 180,000 Deaths Worldwide)

The results are in line with other data from the U.S. that linked sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit juices with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. But the relationship is still an association, and does not establish that sugared beverages cause diabetes.

The reason for the connection reflects the complex interaction among eating habits, body weight and other metabolic factors that contribute to the disease. In the current analysis, for example, the increased risk of diabetes only appeared among those drinking sugared sodas daily, and not among those who consumed fruit juices. But the association remained even after the scientists took into account the participants’ body mass index (BMI) and the total amount of calories they ate in a day, they still recorded an 18% increased risk of type 2 diabetes among the frequent soda drinkers.

That suggests that the contribution of sugared drinks to diabetes risk may extend beyond its effect on weight — the researchers found that even those who drank artificially sweetened soft drinks appeared to show an increased risk of diabetes, which disappeared once they adjusted for the influence of weight. People who drink sugar-sweetened drinks may not be healthy overall, and have other risk factors that contribute to their increased vulnerability to developing diabetes, say the researchers; for example, overweight itself is a risk factor for the disease.

(MORE: Judge Blocks Ban of Big Sodas in New York City)

The findings are likely to fuel a currently contentious debate in New York City, where they have been the target of a public health campaign by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in recent months. As part of the mayor’s ongoing efforts to improve the health of New Yorkers, Bloomberg proposed a ban on super-sized sugary drinks that would have prohibited restaurants, delis, sports arenas, movie theaters and food carts regulated by the city health department from selling drinks larger than 16 oz. However, a judge blocked the ban the afternoon before it was implemented, calling it “arbitrary and capricious” since it would not apply to all vendors equally.

MOREShould Sugar Be Regulated like Alcohol and Tobacco?

Both the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that people limit the number of sugared sodas they consume, and the AHA says women should try to restrict the added sugar they drink to no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar, while men should consume no more than 150 calories, or about 9 teaspoons of added sugar daily.


That is what diets are for. They put your diet in perspective and
most of all they get you back on track. It's not always about cutting
down on eating, it's just mostly cutting down on what foods you eat.
Cutting down the unhealthy foods can really make a huge change. And when
it comes to the Paleo diet, they are eating the healthy ones like
meats, fruits, vegetables and avoiding the processed food groups.


What so many people do not understand is that high fructose corn syrup is

a poison and is not the same thing as table sugar.

changed in the 1980's when they added HFSC, it is purposely added
because it is addictive, they change the chemical component to create
HFCS. The HFCS makers tried to change their name to "sugars"
and the FDA banned them from doing this is and stated "they are
trying to fool the people"

the FDA allows Billions to be made off this sweetener. The soda today
not your grandparents soda, HFSC is a poison that can create insulin
resistance and obesity Here


This is contradicted by randomized controlled trials on sugar and metabolic biomarkers.

There is no evidence that one soda will increase the risk, there is evidence that the people who drink more soda tend to have a higher risk, there is a big difference. Could it possibly be that other things that these people tend to do that weren't controlled for confound the association? Low intake of nutrients or high intake of deep-fried foods? You don't know from this study.

And the metabolism of sugars is an extremely complicated science, there might be a point where it does increase risk, though it's certainly not one soda, but there are potential mitigating factors like intake of nutrients and exercise that improve the function of metabolic pathways.

It's not enough to strongly insinuate that foods are deadly and then give the caveat that it's only a correlative study, because people don't read it like that. Lots of people just read this article and believed that one single soda can increase their risk of diabetes. So stop it please. Go report on good science, not correlations. 



Good article! Our TeleVox Healthy World research shows that while patients understand the importance of preventive care, few participate in all preventive care measures that are recommended for them. We believe that the key to increasing the use of preventive care is more engagement between providers and patients, which will give patients the support and encouragement they need to lead healthier lives.


Robby with TeleVox