Soft drinks and fruit juices increase the risk of diabetes

Soft drinks and fruit juices increase the risk of diabetes

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All sugary drinks increase the risk of diabetes

Regardless of whether the sugar is added or is naturally occurring: According to a new study, people who consume more sugary drinks are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. According to the researchers, the disease risk increases not only through soft drinks, but also through 100% fruit juices.

"Sugar-sweetened drinks should generally only be drunk in small quantities because they contain many calories and can contribute to the development of overweight," writes the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) on its website. Sweetened drinks also increase the risk of diabetes. And regardless of whether they contain added or naturally occurring sugar. This is what researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

Replace sugary drinks with water or tea
According to a communication, the study also found that drinking artificially sweetened beverages instead of sugary beverages did not appear to reduce the risk of diabetes. However, the risk decreased when a daily serving of a sugary drink was replaced with water, coffee, or tea. According to the information, this is the first study to investigate whether long-term changes in the consumption of sugared drinks and artificially sweetened drinks are related to the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study was published in the journal "Diabetes Care".

Results agree with current recommendations
"The study provides further evidence of the health benefits of reducing the consumption of sugary drinks and replacing them with healthier alternatives such as water, coffee, or tea," said lead author Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

The study analyzed data from more than 192,000 men and women who participated in three long-term studies (duration over 20 years). The authors of the study calculated the changes in the consumption of sugary drinks from the answers to nutritional behavior - about which the test subjects provided information every four years on questionnaires.

The researchers found that the total daily intake of sugary beverages - including sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juice - increased by more than four ounces (about 0.12 liters) over a period of four years, in the following four years with a 16 % higher risk of diabetes.

The increase in the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages by more than 4 ounces per day over a period of four years was associated with an 18% higher risk of diabetes. However, the authors stated that the results on the artificially sweetened beverages should be interpreted with caution, as there is a possibility of reverse causation (people who are already at high risk for diabetes could switch from sugary drinks to diet drinks). In addition, high-risk people are more likely to be examined for diabetes and therefore diagnosed more quickly.

The study also found that replacing a daily serving of a sugary drink with water, coffee, or tea - but not with an artificially sweetened drink - was associated with a two to ten percent lower risk of diabetes.

“The study results are in line with the current recommendations to replace sugary drinks with non-calorie drinks without artificial sweeteners. Although fruit juices contain some nutrients, their consumption should be moderated, ”said lead study author Frank B. Hu, Fredrick J. Stare, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Drinking more sugary beverages of any type may increase type 2 diabetes risk, (accessed: October 5, 2019), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Diabetes Care: Changes in Consumption of Sugary Beverages and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and Subsequent Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results From Three Large Prospective U.S. Cohorts of Women and Men, (accessed: October 5, 2019), Diabetes Care
  • German Society for Nutrition: The best thirst quenchers in summer, (accessed: 05.10.2019), German Society for Nutrition

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