Created on: February 12, 2013
Not only is drinking sugar-sweetened soda bad for you, but also is consuming sugar-free diet sodas. A study released last week by France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research found a correlation between guzzling down diet sodas and Type 2 diabetes.
The research study involved 66,118 women who had their beverage behaviors tracked for a period of 14 years. The women noted their consumption of artificially sweetened drinks, 100 percent juice and sugar-sweetened drinks. By the time the study was completed, 1,369 women were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
The pertinent finding of the study that has captured headlines was when researchers compared diabetes risk between regular soda drinkers and diet soda drinkers: there is a heightened risk of being diagnosed with diabetes when individuals consume diet soda.
An average can of diet soda consists of eight teaspoons of sugar.
Meanwhile, women who drank 100 percent naturally squeezed juice during the study did not increase their risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes, the researchers concluded in their report.
“Contrary to conventional thinking, the risk of diabetes is higher with 'light' beverages compared with 'regular' sweetened drinks,” stated the French health institute. “The risk of developing diabetes is 15 percent greater with the consumption of half a litre per week and 59 percent greater for the consumption of 1.5 litres per week, respectively.”
Although the scientists only discovered an association, it was noted that the female participants who drank more artificially sweetened beverages craved sugar more than those who consumed regular soda beverages. “Women who drink 'light' or 'diet' sweetened soft drinks drink more of them than those who drink 'normal' sweet soft drink.”
It was not concluded if artificial sweeteners in the diet sodas actually cause diabetes. It did state, however, that the consumption of sweetened soft drinks increases the chance of becoming overweight, which in itself can lead to diabetes.
The study authors are now calling for further research into this issue in order to confirm this result.
“Information on beverage consumption was not updated during the follow-up, and dietary habits may have changed over time," the researchers conceded in the report. "We cannot rule out that factors other than artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) are responsible for the association with diabetes."
Results from the study have been published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
According to the American Diabetes Association’s National Diabetes Fact Sheet, there are 25.8 million American children and adults that have diabetes. There were 1.9 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in people over the age of 20 in 2010.
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