​Soda And Diabetes: Increases Risk By 22 Percent​​

By: | 04/26/2013 08:51 AM ET

Soda can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 22 percent, according to a new study. In fact, the research shows that it only takes just one 12-ounce serving of soda.

Soda And Diabetes

The Imperial College of London wanted to see if they could establish a link between sugary drink consumption and type 2 diabetes in Europeans, since most research on soda has only studied the North American population.

It’s a theory that just one soda increases the risk of diabetes for everyone.

Researchers combed through over 15 years of data on sugar-sweetened beverage consumption that included more than 27,000 people from seven European countries. During that time period more than 40 percent developed type 2 diabetes, with those who said they drank at least one soda or some other sweet drink each day showing an 18 percent higher risk of developing the disease.

The study focused on factors like body weight and body mass index, and the risk rose to 22 percent as a result.

The European research is very consistent with findings from U.S. studies that find that soda drinking is associated with a 25 percent increased diabetes risk.

In fact, diet soda drinkers also had to worry about developing diabetes. However, when body weight and exercise levels were factored in, the link disappeared. In other words, healthy-weight, exercising diet soda drinkers were no more likely to develop type two diabetes than non-soda drinkers.

And here’s why sipping just one small can of soda each day is so damaging to your health. Sweetened drinks are the largest contributor of empty calories and processed sugar in both the American and European diet according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It’s been pegged as a major contributor to a variety of health issues.

“Aside from sugar, there are nine other potentially dangerous ingredients in soda, including carcinogenic artificial colors and phosphoric acid, which can contribute to everything from obesity to cancer to the depletion of micronutrients essential for strong bones,” noted Jayson Calton, co-author of Rich Food, Poor Food, a book that explains the hidden dangers in food and beverages.

However, the British study is not without issues. Each country’s study center analyzed their data a little differently which might have introduced errors. It’s also what scientists call an association study, meaning the information is culled from self-reported drinking patterns — a technique that always chances inaccuracies.

But it does seem to reinforce the clear message that sugary drinks have an unhealthy effect, not only on the waistline, but on overall health.