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Sour taste

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Aug 31, 2008 | From the print edition

Sweetened soft, fruit drinks linked to diabetes



regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes in African-American women, say researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center. Type 2 diabetes, a leading cause of incidences of morbidity and mortality in the us, has increased in recent years, while the age of diagnosis has dropped.

The researchers obtained information on the height, weight, demographic characteristics, medical history, usual diet and other factors of the Black Women's Health Study, an ongoing study of 59,000 African-American women in the us.

The researchers found 2,713 participants developed diabetes during the first 10 years of follow-up in the study. The incidence of type 2 diabetes rose with increasing intake of both sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks. Women who consumed two or more soft drinks a day had a 24 per cent increase in incidence over women who drank less than one soft drink every month.

A similar association was observed for sweetened fruit drinks, with a 31 per cent increase observed for two or more servings per day compared to less than one per month.

The researchers noted that while there was increasing public awareness of the adverse health effects of soft drinks, little attention has been given to fruit drinks, which often are marketed as a healthier alternative to soft drinks.

The study was published in the July 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

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