Bad news for Coca-Cola fans: A new UK study has found drinking a single can of sugar-sweetened soft drink a day can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 22 per cent. The risk remains frighteningly high even after discounting associated weight gains.
Cola picture from Shutterstock
Using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, researchers from Imperial College London monitored the effects of sugar-sweetened soft drinks on 28,557 participants spread across nine countries (Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, France, Italy and the Netherlands).
After adjusting for confounding factors, the researchers discovered that consumption of one 336ml serving size of sugar-sweetened soft drink per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22 per cent.
Even when total energy intake and body-mass index (BMI) were taken into account, the increased risk still stood at 18 per cent; suggesting that even skinny soft drink lovers are at risk of developing the disease:
The association between sugar-sweetened soft drinks and diabetes was only slightly attenuated when BMI was included in the model, which could indicate that obesity is neither the only nor the main mediator of the association, and that other mechanisms of action might be involved, such as the glycaemic effect of sugar-sweetened drinks and consequent insulin resistance.
The study also discovered a link between type 2 diabetes and artificially-sweetened soft drink, although the implications were discounted in the report due to the fact that people who consume diet soft drinks tend to have poorer health, and thus are already at greater risk of developing the disease.
If you're one of the millions of Australians who drink Coke with every lunch, it might be time to swap to a less sugary/lethal concoction. We suggest gin and tonic.
How many soft drinks do you drink per day and what's your poison of choice? Let us know in the comments section below.