HEALTH STUDY Drinking soda increases diabetes risk for women
The study also linked fruit punch to a higher risk of diabetes.
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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Drinking just one soda a day nearly doubles a woman's risk of developing diabetes, a new study has found, providing the strongest evidence to date that a penchant for sugary Big Gulps may spell big trouble for a person's health.
In a landmark study of more than 50,000 women, researchers determined soft drinks not only set the women up for weight gain, they dramatically increased the likelihood of their developing type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes. Fruit punch was also linked to higher rates of diabetes among the women, while fruit juice was largely vindicated in the study, which appears in today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"Once in a while, it might be OK to drink soda, but I don't think it has a place in a daily, healthy diet," said Dr. Caroline M. Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center, who wrote an accompanying editorial to the new study.
Type 2 diabetes
Indeed, the scientists found that women who drank one or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day had an 83 percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes, compared with women who consumed less than one soda per month.
The researchers believe the culprit is not just the calories in the containers, but the excessive amount of high-fructose corn syrup, which can lead not only to weight gain but adult-onset diabetes.
Diabetes, which can cause blindness, limb amputations and even death, has long been linked to obesity, physical inactivity and advanced age.
But today's research makes the strongest point yet that Coke, Pepsi and other sugary sodas may also play a role.
The soda industry disagreed with the findings, calling into question the study's methodology and arguing that one type of beverage can't be singled out when so many factors are known to trigger type 2 diabetes.