Obesity, lack of exercise, and family history of the disease are among the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. However, your diet is perhaps the greatest predictor of diabetes, and sugary beverages like cool drinks (coke cola, etc) and other soft drinks can play a major role.
Consumption of soft drinks has repeatedly been identified as a risk factor for weight gain and diabetes.
Most recently, British researchers investigated whether sugary beverages, fruit juice, and “diet” beverages could still influence the risk of type 2 diabetes even after controlling for the risk factor of obesity — meaning, can they increase your risk of type 2 diabetes even if you’re not obese?
The meta-analysis included 17 observational studies involving more than 38,250 cases of type 2 diabetes, all of which reported consumption of sugary drinks, fruit juice, and artificially sweetened beverages. None of the studies were funded by industry.
According to the authors:
“Higher consumption of sugar sweetened beverages [one 250 ml serving per day or higher] was associated with a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes, by 18 percent per one serving/day and 13 percent before and after adjustment for adiposity[i.e. body fat]…
[F]or artificially sweetened beverages, 25 percent and 8 percent… and for fruit juice, 5 percent and 7 percent.
Potential sources of heterogeneity or bias were not evident for sugar sweetened beverages. For artificially sweetened beverages, publication bias and residual confounding were indicated.
The researchers estimate that over a period of 10 years, cutting consumption of sugary beverages could reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by nearly two million in the US, and by 80,000 in the UK.
They also note that while there appears to be bias and confounding factors influencing the results of artificially sweetened drinks, “neither artificially sweetened beverages nor fruit juice are suitable alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.”
‘Diet’ Drinks Worsen Obesity and Diabetes
To “help” diabetics and those struggling with their weight, the beverage industry has created a large niche of “diet” beverages, sweetened with artificial no- or low-calorie sweeteners.
However, since the advent of artificial sweeteners, rates of obesity and diabetes have continued to climb, and research over the past 30 years has repeatedly shown they have very similar effects as regular sugar, promoting both obesity and diabetes.
Some studies have even demonstrated that artificial sweeteners worsen diabetes and obesity to a greater degree than regular sugar and HFCS.
For example, one 2012 study found that saccharin and aspartame both cause greater weight gain than sugar, even when the total caloric intake remains similar.
Research published the following year highlighted the fact that diet soda drinkers suffer the same exact health problems as those who opt for regular soda, including excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
For even more research showing that artificial sweeteners promote obesity, type 2 diabetes and other health problems, please see this previous aspartame article.
The weight of the evidence is clear enough at this point that advertising artificially sweetened foods and beverages using the word “diet” is grossly misleading.
We at Manna Health products will always recommend a healthy diet to control blood sugar levels and prevent diabetic complications. We therefore suggest the Manna Diet and always take the Manna Blood Sugar Support Supplement, no matter what food or drink you consume. This product can help to reduce the glycemic index of the food and therefore helps to control blood sugar levels.