Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption appears to increase the risk of diabetes and switching to artificially sweetened diet beverages may not lower the risk

In January 2018 researchers from the USA published the results of their study to assess the association between diet soda and regular soda consumption with the risk of diabetes. A total of 2,019 individuals (average age 69 years; 64% women; 23% white, 22% black, 53% Hispanic) with no history of diabetes and stroke were involved in the study. Information on soda consumption was collected via a food-frequency questionnaire at the start of the study and during follow up. The individuals were then divided into groups according to sugar-sweetended and diet soda consumption. During an average follow-up of 11 years, 368 individuals developed diabetes. Results showed that sugar-sweetened soda was associated with an increased risk of diabetes. Diet soda was also associated with an increased risk of diabetes although this was largely explained by the BMI of the individual at the time of diet assessment. However the association between diet soda and diabetes remained strong and independent of BMI among those who were overweight or obese.

Gardener H et al. Diet Soda and Sugar-Sweetened Soda Consumption in Relation to Incident Diabetes in the Northern Manhattan Study. Curr Dev Nutr. 2018 Jan 30;2(5):nzy008.

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