In a new study, researchers found people who increase their consumption of sugary beverages—whether they contain added or naturally occurring sugar—may face a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
It is the first study to look at whether long-term changes in SSB and ASB consumption are linked with type 2 diabetes risk.
The research was done by a team from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The team looked at 22-26 years’ worth of data from more than 192,000 men and women participating in three long-term studies.
They found that drinking more sugar-sweetened beverages, like soft drinks, as well as 100% fruit juices, were linked to higher type 2 diabetes risk.
Total sugary beverage intake of more than 4 ounces per day over a four-year period was linked to a 16% higher diabetes risk in the following four years.
The team also found that drinking more artificially sweetened beverages in place of sugary beverages did not appear to lessen diabetes risk.
However, diabetes risk decreased when one daily serving of any type of sugary beverage was replaced with water, coffee, or tea.
The findings provide further evidence demonstrating the health benefits linked to less sugary beverage consumption and replacing these drinks with healthier alternatives like water, coffee, or tea.
The study is in line with current recommendations to replace sugary beverages with noncaloric beverages free of artificial sweeteners.
Although fruit juices contain some nutrients, their consumption should be moderated.
The lead author of the study is Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Nutrition.
The study is published in the journal Diabetes Care.
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