A new research carried out at the University of Cambridge suggests that sugary drinks can cause diabetes even in people that have a normal weight.
The study was indirectly carried out on nearly 39.000 people, using records from 17 previous similar researches. The researchers used this massive amount of data to see how many of the subjects had or developed type 2 diabetes. The findings suggest that most of those who have the disease were regular consumers of high-sugar drinks.
Type 2 is one of the most common variants of diabetes, especially in the United States. More than 9% of Americans have been diagnosed with this disease. Type 2 diabetes affects the pancreas, which is the organ that, amongst other things, helps regulate the sugar levels within our blood.
In people where type 2 has reached advanced stages, the pancreas can no longer produce sufficient insulin to prevent the sugar in our system from becoming dangerous. Drinks that contain large concentrations of sugar have previously been linked by other studies to diabetes, but it was thought that the risks were significant only in people who were already overweight.
But this study claims that consuming sweetened drinks on a regular basis (once per day) can increase the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by approximately 15% over a period of 10 years. This was true even for those who have a normal weight and an otherwise healthy lifestyle.
The research took into consideration all types of sweetened beverages, from soft drinks to milkshakes. The link with diabetes could only be clearly established in drinks that were sweetened with natural sugar. However, researchers warned that beverages sweetened with other substances are definitely not healthier and can lead to plenty of other, just as serious health problems.
The leader of the study claims that a simple glass of water remains the best option for those who want to remain healthy. Though anyone that consumes sugary drinks puts itself at risk, those who are overweight or even obese still have a higher chance to develop diabetes.
These type of drinks were responsible for approximately 180,000 cases of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. alone each year. More than half of the American population consumes sweetened drinks on a daily basis. The situation is not significantly better in the UK either.
So if we want to get healthier in the future, giving up on a can of soda a few times per week seems to be a very good start.
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