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New research linking sugary drinks with Type 2 diabetes

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New research positively associating the consumption of sugary drinks with Type 2 diabetes, independent of obesity status, has caused quite a stir in the media today. 

The new study, led by researchers at the University of Cambridge, claims that sugar-sweetened drinks may give rise to nearly two million cases of Type 2 diabetes over 10 years in the US and 80,000 in the UK, and has been widely reported across media outlets including the Mail Online, Daily Express, and The Guardian. 

But what does this study mean for people worried about getting Type 2 diabetes? Diabetes UK has investigated the research and provided the following comment to media. 

Dr Alasdair Rankin, Diabetes UK Director of Research, said: “This study adds to evidence that sugary drinks are bad for health and can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This study does not, though, provide strong evidence about whether this is because of the calories they contain or if there is something else going on in the body that is leading to an increase in risk. 

“The researchers also suggest that artificially sweetened drinks and fruit juices are of no benefit in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes, but these findings are based on limited data and need further investigation. 

“We would advise people to limit the amount of sugary drinks they have as part of a healthy diet in order to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes. There is very strong evidence that a healthy diet, together with regular physical activity, can help maintain a healthy weight and so help prevent Type 2 diabetes.”

This news followslast week’s reportby a group of independent nutrition experts calling for a significant reduction in the amount of sugar people consume to help reduce growing levels of obesity. 

This research was published by the BMJ and is availablehere.

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