Study links soft drinks and fruit drinks with risk for diabetes in African-American women

July 28, 2008

Boston, MA—Researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center have found that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes in African-American women. These findings appear in the July 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Type 2 diabetes, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, has increased in incidence in recent years, while the age of diagnosis has dropped. Type 2 diabetes is a particular problem among U.S. black women, as their incidence rate is twice that of U.S. white women.

In questionnaires mailed to participants of the Black Women's Health Study (an ongoing prospective study of 59,000 African-American women from all parts of the U.S.) the researchers obtained information on height, weight, demographic characteristics, medical history, usual diet and other factors. Follow-up questionnaires that requested updated information on lifestyle factors, occurrences of diabetes and other serious illnesses were mailed to participants every two years.

The researchers found 2,713 participants developed diabetes during the first ten 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 percent increase in incidence of relative to women who drank less than one soft drink per month. A similar association was observed for sweetened fruit drinks, with a 31 percent increase observed for two or more servings per day relative to less than one per month.

The researchers note that while there has been 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.

"Fruit drinks were consumed more frequently than soft drinks in our study, and the proportion of total energy intake from fruit drinks in the U.S. population doubled from 1977 to 2001," said lead author Julie Palmer, ScD, a professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health. "The public should be made aware that these drinks are not a healthy alternative to soft drinks with regard to risk of type 2 diabetes," she added.

Source: Boston University

Explore further: Soda tax linked to drop in sugary beverage drinking in low-income Berkeley neighborhoods

Related Stories

Government's childhood obesity plan flawed

August 19, 2016

The Government's childhood obesity plan is based on outdated evidence, shows the Government values corporate profit over public good and is unlikely to solve the New Zealand obesity crisis, according to a new critique.

US teens less sweet on soft drinks

July 7, 2016

(HealthDay)—American teens are turning their backs on soft drinks, says a new government survey that shows soda consumption among youth declined by almost a third in just two years.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.