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by Robert MacKay, Thursday, April 25, 2013 | Categories: Obesity

Recently, a few studies have concentrated on the correlation between different drinks and how they can affect our health.

New research has tried to answer the question: Do artificially sweetened fizzy drinks correlate with diabetes type 2 and if so, how? Dr. Romaguera-Bosh from Imperial College London, along with researchers from the InterAct Consortium, has found that even after accounting for body-mass index (BMI) and energy intake, the risk of diabetes type 2 increases 18% with a daily consumption of 336 ml. The figure is 22% without making the adjustment for known risk factors. This suggests that an individual has a 1 in 5 increased chance of getting type 2 diabetes just because of drinking a fizzy drink a day (336ml). The study has a very substantial sample size, as it is based on data from 350,000 people living in eight different European Countries. The findings correlate with a previous American study, which had found 25% increase of type 2 diabetes when drinking daily a sugar-sweetened drink.

Another study from last October by Beulens et al, published by the Journal of Internal Medicine, had looked at the link between alcohol and type 2 diabetes. Results suggested that moderate alcohol intake for women and normal alcohol intake for men can decrease the risk of diabetes. This inverse association (alcohol intake and lower diabetes risk) was more evident when looking at overweight individuals, with wine being the alcoholic drink most strongly associated with the reduced chance of developing type 2 diabetes. I need to emphasise that this study should not be used as a green light to go out and get bladdered on alcohol. The results were interesting and the health benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption are well documented but the operative word here is “moderate”!

Our advice to all patients is to avoid artificially sweetened fizzy drinks on a regular basis. This advice is especially appropriate for overweight or obese patients. Many people focus only on their food intake, blissfully ignorant of the damaging impact of the large quantities of sugars in their cans of pop. This study (and the wide currency that it is receiving) may help to alert the public to the risks.

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