MONDAY, Oct. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — People who increase their consumption of sweet beverages — either fruit juice or drinks with added sugars — are at greater risk over time for developing diabetes, according to a study published online Oct. 3 in Diabetes Care.

Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, Ph.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues used data from 76,531 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (1986 to 2012), 81,597 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991 to 2013), and 34,224 men in the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study (1986 to 2012). Food frequency questionnaires administered every four years were used to calculate changes in beverage consumption (in 8-ounce serving/day).

The researchers found that during 2,783,210 person-years of follow-up, there were 11,906 incident cases of type 2 diabetes. Increasing total sugary beverage intake (including both sugar-sweetened beverages and 100 percent fruit juices) by >0.50 servings/day during a four-year period was associated with a 16 percent higher diabetes risk in the subsequent four years after adjusting for body mass index and other changes in diet and lifestyle. Additionally, increasing artificially sweetened beverage consumption by >0.50 servings/day was associated with an 18 percent higher diabetes risk. There was a 2 to 10 percent lower risk for diabetes associated with replacing one daily serving of a sugary beverage with water, coffee, or tea, but not artificially sweetened beverages.

“Increasing consumption of sugary beverages or artificially sweetened beverages was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, albeit the latter may be affected by reverse causation and surveillance bias,” the authors write.

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