A new study has found that drinking just one can of sugary soft drink a day can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly a fifth.
The research, published in the journal Diabetologia, found that consuming at least one can each day raised the relative risk of the metabolic disorder by 22%, compared with drinking one can a month or less.
The finding, which backs previous studies linking sugary soft drink intake with higher body weight and conditions like type 2 diabetes, comes from a team of international researchers involved in a large European study investigating links between diet and cancer.
As part of the study, the team quizzed some 350,000 individuals about their diet, including their consumption of sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened “diet” soft drinks and juices.
They found that those who drank at least one 330ml can of sugar–sweetened soft drink, isotonic energy drink or other sugary soft beverage every day were 22% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who drank one can per month or under.
Even after accounting for body mass index (BMI), the risk was still 18% higher, suggesting that other factors, such as higher insulin resistance, in addition to being overweight or obese were largely to blame.
The risk of diabetes was also higher for those who regularly drank artificially sweetened diet beverages, but the scientists said this was solely caused by their higher body mass .
Lead researcher Dr Dora Romaguera, from Imperial College London, said: “This study corroborates the association between increased incidence of Type 2 diabetes and high consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks in European adults.
“Given the increase in sweet beverage consumption in Europen, clear messages on its deleterious effect on health should be given to the population.”

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