Women with obesity and type 2 diabetes lost more weight if they drank water after their main meals rather than diet beverages, a new study finds.
The research, conducted by the School of Life Sciences at Queen’s Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, concluded that more data is needed on the effects of diet beverage consumption on type 2 diabetes management.
Eighty-one obese women with type 2 diabetes were examined in this 24-week randomised weight loss program, all of whom had an HbA1c between 6.5% (47.5 mmol/mol) and 7.2% (55.2 mmol/mol), and a BMI between 27 kg/m2 and 35 kg/m2.
The women, who reported often consuming diet beverages after meals, were asked to either substitute water or continue drinking diet beverages after lunch five times per week.
Blood samples were taken in both groups following an overnight fast at the beginning of the study and again at 12 and 24 weeks.
The researchers found that waist circumference and BMI decreased significantly in both groups, but the water group lost more weight and had a greater mean BMI decrease. Furthermore, the water group had greater improvements in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
“Replacing diet beverages with water consumption would appear to impact beneficially on weight loss, BMI, [fasting plasma glucose] and insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese women with type 2 diabetes who are following a weight-loss diet,” the researchers wrote.
“More experimental study is needed to determine the effect of consumption of diet beverages on the management of diabetes and metabolic syndrome [and] longer-term studies are essential to see what would develop in an extended period in such patients,” added lead author Dr Ameneh Madjd.
The findings appear in the online journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

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