One Soda A Day Linked To 22 Percent Increase In Diabetes Risk
April 25, 2013

Just One Soda A Day Dramatically Increases Diabetes Risk

Brett Smith for - Your Universe Online

Proponents of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg´s soda ban have more evidence to support their case, as a recently published European study found that a daily 12-ounce serving of soda can raise an individual´s risk of diabetes by 22 percent.

“It´s alarming,” lead author Dora Romaguera of Imperial College, London told Bloomberg News. “Most people are not really aware of the dangers of these drinks.”

In the study, a report of which was recently published in the journal Diabetologia, researchers used data on beverage consumption collected across eight European patient groups that were involved in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Using data from over 350,000 people, the researchers found that a single serving size of sugar-sweetened soft drink every day increased the risk of developing“¯Type 2 diabetes“¯by 22 percent, after adjusting for confounding factors.

The increased risk dropped to 18 percent when the researchers factored in body weight, meaning that regular consumption of soft drinks “increases your risk of developing diabetes beyond the effect on body weight,” Romaguera explained. “You may remain thin and still have a higher risk of developing diabetes.”

As developing nations are beginning to embrace soft drinks like many of their first-world counterparts, some experts warn about the potential increase in diabetes cases. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, diabetes cases will double to an estimated 552 million by 2030.

While Type 1 diabetics have the condition from birth, Type 2 diabetes is considered to be predominantly a “lifestyle disease,” striking later in life and brought on by the demands on insulin regulation resulting from obesity and diet.

When a sugary soda is consumed, it causes rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and, consequently, in insulin secretion. If this happens on a regular basis, it eventually leads to insulin resistance and potentially diabetes.

Romaguera noted that her study´s results were similar to those of studies conducted in North America.

"Given the increase in sweet beverage consumption in Europe, clear messages on the unhealthy effect of these drinks should be given to the population,” she said.

Attempts to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks in the population at-large have been a hot topic lately, with campaigns to restrict their sales taking place in New York City, pitting small government advocates against public health officials and interest groups.

In March,“¯a New York state Supreme Court judge struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg´s attempt to ban the sale of large sugary drinks in NYC, saying the mayor had exceeded his authority. The city´s Board of Health had approved the plan which aimed to ban the sale of soft drinks larger than 16 ounces last September, rejecting arguments from“¯soft drink makers“¯and restaurant companies who argued that consumers should be free to choose.

Possibly seeing a long and expensive legal battle ahead, some companies have started taking steps to mitigate any infringement on their industry. The London-based drugmaker“¯GlaxoSmithKline announced recently that it plans to sell its Lucozade Energy and Ribena drink businesses. Coca-Cola,“¯Nestle and“¯Tesco have“¯signaled that they plan to reduce calories in their products, the UK health department said earlier this year.