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‘Sugar-free’ and ‘diet’ sodas linked to diabetes: Study

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By Nathan Gray+

21-Feb-2013
Last updated the 21-Feb-2013 at 14:32 GMT

Consumption of ‘light’ or ‘diet’ sodas may be linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabtes, according to new research.

The prospective study followed more than 65,000 European women for over 14 years, tracking their consumption of sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened (or sugar free) sodas and juices.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the research finds that a higher than average intake of both sugar-sweetened and sugar free sodas is linked to an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes.

However, rather surprisingly, the authors also found that those consuming diet soda had an even higher incidence than those drinking ‘regular’ sugar sweetened soda.

Led by Françoise Clavel-Chapelon from France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research, the research team said they cannot currently rule out the possibility that factors other than artificially sweetened beverages consumption, “that we did not control for” are responsible for the association with diabetes.

“Randomized trials are required to prove a causal link between artificially sweetened beverages consumption and type 2 diabetes,” they said.

Study details

The research tracked 66,118 women for more than 14 years, assessing their beverage habits using self-reported questionnaires that monitored consumption of 100% juice, sugar-sweetened drinks and artificially sweetened drinks.

By the end of the study period, 1,369 of the women were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the researchers revealed.

Clavel-Chapelon and his team revealed that both diet and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was linked with a higher risk of developing diabetes.

However, when comparing diabetes risk between the diet soda drinkers and regular soda drinkers, the diet drinkers had an even higher risk, they said.

Meanwhile, the women who only reported drinking 100% juice did not have an increased risk of diabetes.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/​ajcn.112.050997
“Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Etude Epidémiologique auprès des femmes de la Mutuelle Générale de l'Education Nationale–European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort”
Authors: Guy Fagherazzi, Alice Vilier, Daniela Saes Sartorelli, Martin Lajous, Beverley Balkau, Françoise Clavel-Chapelon

5 comments (Comments are now closed)

Correlation <> Causation

Remember that this proves nothing, even if we wish it to. it can point us in the right direction, but don't think that diet sodas = diabetes.

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Posted by Patrick
02 April 2013 | 01h55

artificial sweeteners raise risk of diabetes in soda

Curious, if researchers found similar relationships in black coffee or tea drinkers with artificial sweeteners?

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Posted by Dr. Rick
26 February 2013 | 17h39

Why Post?

What is the purpose of this study. It seemed like a waste of resources. There is nothing concrete that came from this, so what is the point of scaring more people away from not only soda but diet soda.

From my experience I have seen people in restaurants order the whole menu including desserts and then ask for I diet coke.

Therefore, as stated in the article there needs to be more factors that are controled to get a viable conclusion.

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Posted by Kristopher
23 February 2013 | 18h39

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