Consumption of just one or two sugar-sweetened drinks per day is associated with a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a 20% increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a new meta-analysis shows.
The recently published analysis (Diabetes Care 2010;33:2477-2483), included data from 11 studies and compared results based on whether patients reported drinking no sugar-sweetened drinks or drinking more than one or two per day. The researchers found the risk of diabetes or metabolic syndrome increased by about 25% with each regular size serving of sugar-sweetened beverage per day.
They said the risk of developing diabetes from drinking two to three sweetened beverages per day is not very different from the increased risk associated with cigarette smoking.
And the culprits may not just be the calorie content of the drinks, as the authors suggest that the increased risk may be attributed to a combination of excess caloric intake with some unique metabolic effects of fructose and other components of soft drinks.