Diet pop and artificially sweetened drinks don’t raise diabetes risk

April 19, 2011 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Diet pop and artificially sweetened drinks don’t raise diabetes risk
A major new study from Harvard researchers is reporting that diet pop and other artificially sweetened drinks don't raise the risk of diabetes, despite previous findings that found otherwise.

To investigate, researchers analyzed data from more than 40,000 men who were followed for twenty years.

During the study period, participants regularly filled out questionnaires on their medical status and dietary habits, including how many servings of regular and diet sodas and other drinks they consumed every week.

Researchers found that about 7 percent of men reported that they were diagnosed with diabetes at some point during the study.

The researchers found that men who drank the most sugar-sweetened beverages, about one serving a day on average, were 16 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than men who never drank those beverages.

The link was mostly due to soda and other carbonated beverages, and drinking non-carbonated sugar-sweetened fruit drinks such as lemonade was not linked with a higher risk of diabetes.

When nothing else was accounted for, men who drank a lot of diet soda and other diet drinks were also more likely to get diabetes.

But once researchers took into account men's weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol, they were not related to diabetes risk.

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, risk factors for the disease include having a close family member with diabetes, being a member of a high-risk population, including Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian and African, and being overweight.

The connection between diet drinks and diabetes risk seen in other studies may be the result of other factors that diet drinkers and diabetes sufferers have in common, such as being overweight.

The study also found that drinking coffee on a daily basis, both regular and decaffeinated, lowered risk of diabetes. Researchers aren't sure why that is, but it could be due to antioxidants or vitamins and minerals in coffee.

The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.