Soft drinks may greatly increase diabetes risk

Drinking more than two 200ml soft drinks per day can double your relative risk of diabetes, reports the Daily Mail.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden correlated 2,874 adults’ intake of sugary or diet soft drinks with their development of diabetes. The consumption of more than two 200ml sugary soft drinks was associated with a 21% increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Contrary to common wisdom, the researchers found that the diet drinks were associated with almost the same results – an increase in the relative risk of type-2 diabetes by 18%. Lead researcher Josefin Löfvenborg suggested that artificial sweeteners may stimulate the appetite, and lead the body to become less tolerant of glucose (sugar), leading to type 2 diabetes.

The researchers made clear that more research on this topic is needed, as well as research into what would counter the risk. This was also a study of relative risk (i.e. the degree by which risk increase from its normal level) – rather than absolute risk, as explained in the Guardian. Likewise, this is less a slur on soft drinks per se than the sugar or sweeteners they contain, which are included in other products as well.  However, it underlines the impression that these drinks should be considered treats rather than a staple of your diet, if you wish to stay healthy. It’s also worth remembering that a standard can of soft drink is 330ml, rather than the 200ml, meaning that you will have drunk 660ml if you have two cans!

If you’re looking to eat and drink healthier, why not check out the NHS Eatwell guide? And if you’re trying to fight your sweet tooth, have a read of our ‘Cutting down on sugar, one cube at a time’ blog.