Diet soft drinks do not increase risk of diabetes after all, says report

Tue, 19 Apr 2011
A new study by scientists at Harvard University has revealed that previous research which found that diet soft drinks and other artificially sweetened drinks contributed to type 2 diabetes were not factors in the development of diabetes after all.

The new research, involving a large group of over 40,000 men who regularly drank sugary soft drinks (or cool drinks, as they are known in the United States) and whose data was assessed for a 20-year period, found they were just as likely to develop diabetes as those who drank diet or artificially sweetened soft drinks, or tea or coffee . Around 7 per cent claimed they received a diabetes diagnosis at some point during the study.

In fact, the research, which was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that diet versions of sugary drinks were a safe and healthy alternative to the sweeter ones.

Frank Hu, one of the research team, commented "There are multiple alternatives to regular cool drink. Diet cool drink is perhaps not the best alternative, but moderate consumption is not going to have any appreciable harmful effects."

Although earlier studies had suggested that those who consume diet soft drinks regularly might have a greater chance of getting diabetes than those who avoid them, the recent study found the link was due to other factors common to each, such as being overweight .
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