Sugar-Sweetened Beverages a Culprit in Weight Gain and Type 2 Risk

“Higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a greater magnitude of weight gain and an increased risk for development of type 2 diabetes in women,” say Harvard researchers, “possibly by providing excessive calories and large amounts of rapidly absorbable sugars.”

According to a study conducted between 1991 and 1999, 91,249 women free of diabetes and other major chronic diseases were examined. A total of 741 cases of confirmed type 2 diabetes were identified when the study concluded.

Weight gain was highest among women who increased their consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks from one or fewer drinks per week to one or more drinks per day and was lowest among women who decreased their intake of sugarsweetened beverages, after adjusting for lifestyle and diet.

“Increased consumption of fruit punch was also associated with greater weight gain compared with decreased consumption,” write the researchers.

Women consuming one or more sugar-sweetened soft drinks per day had a 1.83 relative risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those who consumed less than one of these beverages per month.

Similarly, consumption of fruit punch was associated with increased diabetes risk.

—Journal of the American Medical Association,

August 25, 2004

—D. Trecroci

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