Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages daily linked to diabetes

March 6, 2010, American Heart Association

More Americans now drink sugar-sweetened sodas, sport drinks and fruit drinks daily, and this increase in consumption has led to more diabetes and heart disease over the past decade, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

Using the (CHD) Policy Model, a well-established computer simulation model of the national population age 35 and older, researchers estimate that the increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages between 1990 and 2000 contributed to 130,000 new cases of , 14,000 new cases of coronary heart disease (CHD), and 50,000 additional life-years burdened by coronary heart disease over the past decade.

Sugar-sweetened soda, sport and (not 100 percent fruit juice) contain equivalent calories, ranging from 120 to 200 per drink, and thus play a role in the nation's rising tide of , researchers said. Previous research has linked daily consumption of these sugary beverages to an increased risk of diabetes, even apart from excessive weight gain.

"The CHD model allows us to incorporate data from other studies that demonstrate an association between daily consumption of sugared beverages and diabetes risk; we can then translate this information into estimates of the current diabetes and cardiovascular disease that can be attributed to the rise in consumption of these drinks," said Litsa Lambrakos, M.D., study lead investigator and internal medicine resident at the University of California-San Francisco.

The prospective simulation model draws on data from major epidemiological studies, including the Framingham Heart Study, The Nurses Health Study and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Through the model, the researchers estimate the additional disease caused by the drinks has increased coronary heart disease healthcare costs by 300-550 million U.S. dollars between 2000-2010. This figure likely underestimates the true costs because it does not account for the increased costs associated with the treatment and care of patients with diabetes alone. Over the last decade, at least 6,000 excess deaths from any cause and 21,000 life-years lost can be attributed to the increase in sugar-sweetened drinks.

Health policy experts suggest curbing the consumption of sugared drinks through an excise tax of 1 cent per ounce of beverage, which would be expected to decrease consumption by 10 percent.

"If such a tax could curb the consumption of these drinks, the health benefits could be dramatic," said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

The authors are currently examining the impact of various approaches to reducing consumption of sugary beverages. "We want to make the general public more aware of the adverse health outcomes of consuming these drinks over time," Lambrakos said. "We want to help support disease prevention and curb consumption of these drinks that lead to poor health outcomes and increased healthcare costs for the average American."

"The American Heart Association recommends a dietary pattern that is rich in fruit, vegetables, low-fat or fat free dairy products, high-fiber whole grains, lean meat, poultry and fish," said Robert H. Eckel, M.D., past president of the American Heart Association, and professor of medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado Denver. "Always consider overall diet in the context of energy balance and make sure foods and drinks high in added sugars are not taking the place of foods with essential nutrients."

The American Heart Association recommends an upper limit of half of the discretionary calorie allowance from added sugars, which for most American women is no more than 100 calories per day and for most American men is no more than 150 calories per day from added sugars. Sugar-sweetened beverages should be limited to 450 calories or less per week (36oz), based on a 2000 calorie per day diet.

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Mar 06, 2010
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Mar 06, 2010
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3 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2010
Once again the food police assume everyone is metabolically the same.
I thought I saw a story on phys.org that a genetic test can determine your optimal diet.
I am sure most people have a problem with eating too much sugar as their distant ancestors only ate sugar (honey) when it could be found.
Some, who had abundant fruit choices, adapted to a high sugar diet.
Others, adapted to high protein, low sugar, low carb diet.
It has been proven that humans only need protein and fat in their diet. Any sugars needed will be manufactured internally.
Are the food police afraid of studying genetic differences?
Also, is it not a conflict of interest for the USDA to publish nutrition data when they subsidize ag products like sugar and corn?
Now they want to tax such drinks because governments are going broke. Sin taxes force governments to promote sin to balance their budgets.
5 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2010
There is almost NO sugar in our beverages.

It's all HFC, and I'm of sound mind that it is HFC, not cane or beet sugar, that aggaravate diseases and obesity in humans. It would go to show that countries with high HFC in their foods, ie: America, Russia, and the UK, would have obesity epidemics, while countries that trend away from foods with high HFC contents, ie: Germany, France, Italy, and Japan, would have a greater lifespan with fewer incidents of disease and lesser obesity statistics.

Unfortunately, I don't have the background, outside of statistics, to develop a reasonable study or control group.
Mar 06, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
3 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2010
Sucrose, cane sugar, beet sugar, is a disaccharide: one molecule of fructose and one of glucose.
High fructose corn syrup is composed of mono-sacharides with a higher percentage of fructose compared to glucose.
HFC is sugar.
"When too much fructose enters the liver, the liver can't process it all fast enough for the body to use as sugar. Instead, it starts making fats from the fructose and sending them off into the bloodstream as triglycerides. "http://lowcarbdie...gers.htm
It is always a good idea to limit any sugar consumption. The human body has not evolved to process sugar well.
5 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2010

Genetics play a role with sugar metabolism.
5 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2010
High fructose corn syrup is not mentioned in the article. Priceless.
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2010
@CapBarb, Skep H-
Yeah- you guys nailed it- the high fructose corn syrup. That stuff is literally poison. There was an article not to long ago(physorg) detailing the findings of a new study, that at, like, just room temp -much less higher- HFCS starts to convert -on it's own- to some pretty vile compounds, some of which are good suspects for carcinogens, and in any case are harmful free radicals, et c., to add to the load of other poison crap that the old body has to try to deal with.
The attempt to corner the cane sugar market that lead to the widespread substitution of HFCS as a sweetener was way back in the 70s- it's past time to switch it back -supply and price of sugar have been stable for 30 years. All that friggin' HFCS can then be diverted to ethanol production.
Cane sugar=16 calories/level tsp.
It wouldn't hurt to just reduce the amount of sweetener, across the board, either. Most people would get used to it pretty quick -and if not- why then, stir in some more!
not rated yet Mar 06, 2010
Since when does raw statistical drift imply causation? I say it is just as likely that those predisposed to diabetes are somewhat statistically more likely to have a sweet tooth for no other reason than it just has to be one way or the other because nature almost never proportions things equally.
not rated yet Mar 07, 2010
It grossly dishonest to pretend high fructose corn syrup is equivalent to sugar in its dietary impact.
1 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
It grossly dishonest to pretend high fructose corn syrup is equivalent to sugar in its dietary impact.

Fructose IS a sugar. Please be more precise.
not rated yet Mar 08, 2010
re HFC, this might help inform the debate:


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